‘why obama is right to send drones to libya’

A U.S. flag, pre-Gadhafi flags and a French flag are seen in the background, as Libyans attend Muslim prayers in Benghazi, Libya, April 23

Steven Metz (The New Republic): On Thursday, the Pentagon announced that President Obama, hoping to break the see-saw deadlock between rebel forces and Muammar Qaddafi’s military, had authorized the use of armed Predator drones in Libya. The Predator … is accurate and deadly; it can fly for over 40 hours and carry more than 1,000 pounds of missiles and bombs.

The decision to send these drones was driven by the tactics Qaddafi’s forces have developed to circumvent NATO air strikes, namely intermingling with civilians and moving in unmarked vehicles. Because the drones can linger for long periods of time and have a video feed that allows for more accurate target assessment than conventional bombers, the hope is that they will minimize civilian casualties and prevent the Libyan military from launching quick strikes when NATO aircraft are not around. It might be something of a calculated gamble, but, of the options available, drones seem to be the best tool for the job.

Despite this, the deployment decision immediately provoked new criticism from those already opposed to U.S. involvement in the Libyan conflict. Charges were made of “mission creep,” or a first step toward more heavy engagement, including perhaps the use of ground troops. Other opponents suggested that the use of drones would increase civilian casualties, as it has in Pakistan. Neither of these arguments, however, stands up under scrutiny…..

The use of drones does not enlarge or change the U.S. mission in Libya … it’s the use of new techniques in pursuit of the same objectives.

…Admittedly, armed drones alone will not defeat Qaddafi. That will only happen when the rebels become an effective fighting force. But the drones may help stave off a Qaddafi victory and give the rebels time to become more effective. This is in line with broad U.S. strategy in Libya, which is based on the belief that trends favor the rebels: The longer they avoid defeat, the more they will strengthen, while Qaddafi will only weaken the longer fighting continues. If that theory is correct, then the drones will almost certainly help.

Full article here

15 Responses to “‘why obama is right to send drones to libya’”

  1. 1 Lovepolitics2008
    April 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    that photograph…. just makes my heart sing.

    When you take into account all the pros and cons of intervening and non intervening, I understand and support President Obama in his decision.

    Lybia isn’t the kind of crisis that can be resolved quickly. In a country which has a lot of difficulty with the concept of “patience”, President Obama will pay some political price for his decision. But he did the right thing, and in the long term he will be vindicated.

  2. 2 Dorothy Rissman
    April 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Chips, This is an issue that concerns me. I am completely against the other two wars, but I think Obama was right to
    get engaged in Libya. I think part of the reason for Obama’s falling numbers is because there was an assumption that it would be over very quickly. If this drags on much longer I fear it could continue to hurt PBO’s numbers. I am keeping my finger’s crossed that it will be over soon.

  3. April 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I agree with you. I think engaging in the Libyian conflict was necessary. What I do not appreciate, though, is folks like Mr. pouund your fist on the table McCain over there touting more involvement. Call me paranoid, but it would not surprise me in the least if those who are working to make President Obama fail are secretly helping Quaddafi but funnelling money to help them. I would put nothing past these people.

  4. 5 V C prezOfan2
    April 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Good afternoon, Chipsticks and Family! Sure hope the sun is shining where you are.

    Having no taste for war, unlike the failed 2008 contender, I usually try to bury my head in the sand when it’s being discussed. [Childish, I know, but …:(] Nevertheless, I am clinging to the belief that President Obama is making his decisions re Libya in the same way he has apparently made all his decisions to date – in a reasoned manner, after examining all available information, AND with a specific end goal in mind. When I look at this decision that way, even though I’m a little nervous because I don’t want to see him embarrassed by negative outcomes, I feel somewhat reassured that he knows what he’s striving to accomplish. So, I plan to continue offering silent support as I wait it out with him. In the interest of helping the pills that hold my blood pressure down, I’m not even going to THINK of poll numbers(high or low) until the middle of 2012. IMO, no matter where they are now, they’ll change repeatedly before the actual election and my heart does not need the strain. After all, I want to be around, active, aware, and verbal for the 2012 victory celebration! 😉

    • 6 Dorothy Rissman
      April 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      VC, my intention was not to sound negative, but I do worry. This president is so special, and it seems that he gets hit with so many things it is overwhelming. If anyone can work this mess out, it will be Obama. Steady hand and heart.

      I am on the blood pressure juice myself. Best. dr

      • 7 V C prezOfan2
        April 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm

        Hi Dorothy, I wasn’t being critical of you. At least, that was not my intention. I just formulate my ideas using the thoughts that are triggered by whatever is being discussed. I believe I ‘know’ you well enough by now to feel sure that you have our President’s back, as well as the fact that you do tend to ‘worry’ a lot. But hey, we all come in different packages, and that varierty adds spice, as well as depth, to our interactions. Hopefully you ‘know’ me well enough to notice that I a)avoid criticizing the President’s supporters, and b)sometimes try to encourage our team to examine what me mean when we say we trust him.

        As for the blood pressure issue, I absolutely HATE medications of any sort, but was convinced, after wearing a 24 hour BP monitor, that I had to follow my doctor’s advice. Of course, since it’s been down consistently for a while now, I’ve been trying to talk her over to the idea that I can stop the daily medicating as I’m watching what I eat, but she isn’t buying it. 😦 Hope you are a better patient than I.

        • 8 Dorothy Rissman
          April 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm

          VC, thanks for responding. I just wanted to make sure I had not made you worry. I know how tough it is to listen to the angry left and right. I am glad you know how much I support our president. He is a gem.

          Well, I guess I am a “better” patient. I am a very emotive person–be it good things or bad things. I guess I see it as a way to stabilize my fervor.

  5. 9 GGail
    April 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Libya is not something that is going to “go away”. The people who are called Rebels are citizen protesters who no longer want to be crushed by a Dictator. The dictator did not like the people protesting against him and began harming/killing them. Our President put a stop to some of the killing, but Dictator just won’t stop, nor will he step down in the name of democracy. Democracy – Something that we American’s take for granted. I have trust in my President – he has proven that he doesn’t do knee-jerk decision making and I will support him all the way.

  6. 10 Luci1119
    April 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I trust our President completely, however, I don’t trust the Repubs. I’m trying to figure out exactly just what In the “HAM SAM” Is John McCain doing over there In Libya. I know what they say he’s doing, but really, just what Is he doing???? VC2Prez,we must not only put our trust In PBO, but firstly, In our Lord and Savior, who I believe chose Barack Obama to be our President of the U S of A. why worry, when we can Pray, which I’m sure we all do. When I feel myself starting to worry, that’s when I start really PRAYING. LOrd Jesus help us, for we are depending upon your/God’s Devine Power and Blessings.

    • 11 V C prezOfan2
      April 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      There are certain politicians who NO LONGER have the ability to stir even curiosity in me, and that one in Libya (and his old election companion)are among the bunch. I am certain that his trip has questionable motives, just as I’m equally certain, like you, that President Obama has been chosen ‘for such a time as this’. In fact, it is this latter certainty, along with his personality, his integrity and his track record that bolster my confidence in his choices. I am indeed encouraged by the prayers that are offered up on this President’s (and his family’s and administration’s) behalf.

  7. 12 Dorothy Rissman
    April 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Chipsticks, this is off topic, but I wanted to share that Balloon Juice, yesterday or today had a big discussion about this wonderful Gary Johnson–vomit.

    In reading the comments, I was taken aback by how many idiots there are who think he might be a candidate they could get behind because he would give them their mary jane and no wars. These are liberal! No thought about the poor, social security, medicare–it is all about pleasuring themselves. There were many who do not feel that way, but I was stunned by the childish simplicity of their arguments.

    • 13 Theo67
      April 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      Those childish simpletons may make up a large proportion of the vocal internet community, but they are merely a small fraction of the total human community, and thankfully, they are also relatively powerless.

  8. 14 anniebella
    April 23, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    My opinion about Libya is the President was dam if he do, dam if he didn’t. If he had done nothing and thousand had died, people would be saying how could we sit back and let all those people die. Well he did something, now people are still complaining. He doesn’t have an easy job. And as I have said so many times before, I RESPECT AND TRUST THIS PRESIDENT.And I’m not saying he is right about everything, but I believe he is trying to do what is best and right for we American, that’s the trust I have in President Obama.

    • 15 V C prezOfan2
      April 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      Me too, Annie. He will never please all of the people all of the time (no one can) – and I doubt he wants to – but he undoubtedly wants the best for America, and the world.

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