The ongoing military intervention by coalition forces in Libya has, in recent days, provoked reactions from former Bush administration officials who have their own experience with military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here's what they're saying:
Donald Rumsfeld: The former secretary of defense entered the conversation with this perplexing tweet: "There’s a reason Gadhafi isn't contemplating using a nuclear/radiological weapon today: He saw what happened to Saddam." We're not sure if Rumsfeld is referring to the first or second Iraq war (Rumsfeld, after all, has recently due to his book had to discuss, at length, the fact that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction). It's also unclear what Rumsfeld means when he mentions Libya's nuclear and radiological weapons. Global Security Newswire reports that the West is concerned about Qaddafi using chemical weapons like mustard gas, but it adds that Qaddafi's nuclear and missile programs were halted years ago, though some U.S. officials still worry that Qaddafi has undeclared WMD materials.
John Bolton: The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations penned an op-ed at Fox News arguing that "the 2003 overthrow and subsequent capture of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was enough to convince [Libyan leader Muammar] Qaddafi to renounce his nuclear weapons program, and similar shock and awe could work again." Applying the lessons he learned from Iraq to Libya, Bolton recommends that the U.S. act swiftly, articulate regime change as an objective, decisively lead the coalition's military operation rather than cede control to allies, and not rule out dispatching ground troops.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.