MARCH 30 UPDATE: Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., at Tuesday’s armed services committee hearing about the U.S. handing off the Libyan war to NATO:
When the U.S. turns responsibility over to NATO, it’s not like we’re taking a hot potato and throwing it to somebody else. We’re NATO.
Lots of push now underway, including Thursday morning’s editorial in the New York Times, calling for NATO to take the handoff and run the second phase — whatever it ends up being — of the Libyan war. The goal: make the enterprise appear less American. That’s what happens, despite all the French chest-thumping, when only your Tomahawk cruise missiles and B-2 bombers can hit Libyan targets without exposing pilots to danger.
“NATO leadership best serves American interests,” the Times asserts. No kidding. Unfortunately for the perception police, the world’s most powerful military organization always has been run by an American. Its current chief is Adm. James Stavridis, a top contender to be the next chairman of the (U.S.) Joint Chiefs of Staff (he’s the very model of a modern general — oops, admiral — you can even follow him on Facebook). Here’s the official list of officers who have served as the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe — SACEUR — since NATO was launched shortly after World War II. It begins with Dwight Eisenhower, a Kansas (U.S.) boy who went on to bigger things.