Posts Tagged ‘smartly

21
Mar
11

‘smartly played’

President Barack Obama speaks at the La Moneda Cultural Center in Santiago, March 21

USA Today: …. A week ago, virtually no one thought it possible that the Security Council would authorize a no-fly zone over Libya, much less a resolution permitting ” all necessary measures” to protect civilians.

President Obama insisted on this for good reason. It provides a legal basis for the intervention and neuters any claim — useful to Gadhafi and other miscreants — that this is an exercise in American imperialism. It is akin to successful military actions such as the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the mid-1990s peace engineered in Bosnia, and distinctly unlike the 2003 Iraq invasion.

America’s interests are further helped by Obama’s eagerness to reduce the U.S. military profile in favor of others. He demanded that the Arab League not just endorse a no-fly zone but also participate in enforcing one. Several nations agreed.

Obama’s plan to step back within days after the initial attacks and cede substantial leadership to Europeans and Arabs is particularly wise. Both have much more at stake in Libya than the U.S. does. There’s no reason other than hubris that the United States should bear their burden instead.

Against those facts, complaints that Obama moved too slowly look bombastic. Lacking adequate groundwork, he should not have moved at all, and even so, the course of events is disturbingly uncertain.

Military intervention should always be a last resort, and if ultimately necessary, it should be aimed at a clear, attainable goal and fought with total commitment.

Whether the Libyan attack meets that standard remains to be seen. It is a high-stakes gamble, but at least one that appears smartly played at the outset.

Full article here




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