3 More Strikes Against Obama's Position on Libya

More

The president insists that American troops aren't waging war and aren't in danger. But there's new evidence that he's wrong.

drone full.jpg

President Obama still refuses to call the conflict in Libya a war, and insists we're playing a minor support role there. And yet. The latest news contains three more strikes against his position:

1) Secretary of Defense Gates says Congress shouldn't intercede because "Frankly, I think cutting off funding in the middle of a military operation when we have people engaged is always a mistake." Doesn't the "cutting off funding to the troops" argument only work if they're at risk? Strike one.

2) The Washington Post reports:

The Defense Department decided in April to pay an extra $225 a month in "imminent danger pay" to service members who fly planes over Libya or serve on ships within 110 nautical miles of its shores.

That means the Pentagon has decided that troops in those places are "subject to the threat of physical harm or imminent danger because of civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism or wartime conditions."

Admittedly, danger pay is given in some countries that aren't war zones. Call it a foul ball strike two.

3) And here's the pitch:

Since the United States handed control of the air war in Libya to NATO in early April, American warplanes have struck at Libyan air defenses about 60 times, and remotely operated drones have fired missiles at Libyan forces about 30 times, according to military officials.

The most recent strike from a piloted United States aircraft was on Saturday, and the most recent strike from an American drone was on Wednesday, the officials said.

A fastball right down the center. Is that enough for Congress to call Obama out?

Of course, these aren't the only strikes against the president. As discussed in prior items, he has violated the War Powers Resolution twice over: once when he sent American forces to bomb Libya without Congressional permission - something permitted only during a "national emergency created by attack upon the United States" - and again when he stayed in Libya beyond the 60 day deadline that constrains presidents even in conflicts that meet the earlier condition.


Image credit: Reuters/Ho New
Jump to comments
Presented by

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon About the Toys in Your Cereal Box

The story of an action figure and his reluctant sidekick, who trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


Elsewhere on the web

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

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In