Shoes - Not "Boots" - On The Ground, Ctd

More

Andrew Exum's view:

I was not too angry about the fact that the United States is conducting clandestine operations in Libya. Frankly, I support liaising with the rebels (though not arming them), and I also support observing air strikes. Air strikes are generally more effective at doing what you want them to do -- and not doing what you do not want them to do, like kill civilians -- when they are observed. 

If all the CIA is doing is ensuring a more effective no-fly zone, fine. But as I said before, count me suspicious. And the line between liaising with and supporting the rebels is a very fine one. We know where these things lead. The key test will be if Qaddafi regains control of the country even with a no-fly zone. He's already adjusting:

Rebels also said many loyalists now roamed the battlefield in pickups, making them indistinguishable from rebels when viewed by pilots overhead a shift in tactics that could render air power less effective.

To be perfectly clear, Qaddafi may be capable of achieving his ends without the kind of obvious brute force he displayed theatrically (and foolishly) at the start of this. If that happens, it seems vital to me that NATO not recast its mission as regime change. We did what we could. We can still isolate the regime, debrief defectors, freeze assets, etc. But we should do no more militarily - or risk getting sucked into Iraq II.

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down