Libya

Libya Falling: A Less-Costly (American-led) Way of Waging War

So the U.S. was able to spearhead the imminent collapse of Muammar Gaddfi’s regime in Libya on the cheap. We launched full-fledged invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq against murderous tyrants, but elected not to do the same in Libya. Is this a new template for U.S. wars, or just an acknowledgement of a war-weary nation?

It’s a …

“Gaddafi’s Days Are Numbered”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told us something we’d been waiting to hear Tuesday: “Gaddafi’s days are numbered,” he said of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during a session with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at National Defense University.

But then we started flipping through the pages of our notebook, backwards through time …

Our Silent Partner Everywhere We Intervene – China

That’s how I like to describe it. Whether we like it or not – much less admit it, every time we show up somewhere in tumult, the Chinese are already there or soon to show up. They will be making the big investments (like that $3-4B on a copper mine in Afghanistan) and they will be winning the big extractive contracts (like with both …

“Does It Make Sense for Obama to Bar U.S. Combat Boots in Libya?”

War, first and foremost, is a collection of choices. When President Obama ruled out the use of U.S. military boots on the ground inside Libya, it may have made political sense. But did it make military sense as well? John Nagl of the Center for a New American Security and I weigh the issue with Andrew Exum, former Army officer now …

“Why Did It Take the U.S. So Long to Recognize the Libyan Rebels?”

After five months of bombing the government of Muammar Gadaffi, the U.S. finally recognized Libya’s rebel forces. Was this the right decision, and, if so — why did it take so long? Paul Hughes, a retired Army colonel now with the U.S. Institute of Peace, and Andrew Exum, a Center for a New American Security fellow who has led …

“Why Can’t NATO Whup Libya?”

As NATO’s war against Libya nears its sixth-month anniversary, there’s one question that keeps churning over and over again in what passes for my mind: why can’t the most powerful military alliance in history topple a third-rate army? I discuss the topic with John Nagl of the Center for a New American Security, Paul Hughes, a …

“Why Did the U.S. Hand Off the Libyan War to NATO?”

Why did the U.S. military agree to do the “heavy lifting” in the opening days of the war with Libya — launching long-range bombing strikes from the continental U.S., among other martial fireworks — before handing off the next nearly six months (and counting!) to our NATO allies? Is this a new way of waging war on the cheap for …

“Why Are We at War With Libya?”

This week on Command Post we’re taking a look at what has been going on for more than five months — yikes, by my watch that’s nearly half a year — in Libya. This was supposed to be a flick-of-the-wrist military action by the most powerful military alliance in the history of the world. NATO chieftains expected the barrage would lead …

The $30 Billion Rebel

Given last week’s decision by Washington to recognize the Libyan rebels as that nation’s legitimate government — and giving them access to at least some of the $30 billion in Libyan government funds in U.S. banks — makes you wonder: just who are these folks? Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor writes up the six weeks he …

An Eye-Opening Peek at the Pentagon’s Weird Budget Math

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have heard that President Obama has pledged to cut $400 billion out of security spending between now and 2023. But what you may not know is that the $400 billion won’t be a cut as far as Joe and Jane Taxpayer are concerned. Todd Harrison, Washington’s defense-budget wizard, says letting Pentagon …

The “Right Stuff” for a Drone Pilot

So wondering if you have what it takes to pilot one of those MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper unmanned drones for the U.S. Air Force? Huh? Well, drones have pilots, just like more traditional aircraft. The only difference is the drone operator’s controls tend to be in some trailer – safely on the ground – far away from the drone …

Vietnam’s Ghosts: Still Alive in the U.S. Government

There is really nothing new in the war game, as Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama by the father-daughter team of Marvin and Deborah Kalb makes clear. It could hardly be more timely, as America and its leaders grapple with the challenges posed by Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya – all at once. The …

Swapping One War for Another

Did you catch that sleight-of-command over the weekend? The U.S. recognized the rebels in Libya even as the NATO-led coalition announced the first 650 troops – of President Obama’s planned pullout of 33,000 by the end of next summer – started coming home from Afghanistan with no one slated to replace them.

Tuesday marks …

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