Will Operation Odyssey Dawn End in Days?

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on March 27, 2011

That’s what the Obama Administration promised. The reality is somewhat different:

U.S.-led military action in Libya has bolstered rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, but the international operation could continue for months, the Obama administration says.

[. . .]

[Secretary of Defense] Gates said the no-fly zone was fully in place and could be sustained with “a lot less effort than it took to set it up.” He said the Pentagon was planning how to draw down resources that will be assigned to European and other countries pledging to take on a larger role.

But asked on ABC’s “This Week” if that would mean a U.S. military commitment until year’s end, Gates said, “I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that.”

The lack of clarity on that question reflects a worry for lawmakers clamoring to hear fuller explanations from the administration on why the U.S. was embroiling itself in another Muslim conflict and what the ultimate goals of the intervention are.

Once again, for those wondering what it means to have a “headlong rush to war” with no Congressional authorization or consultation, and little to no effort to rally the American public or to spell out to the American public what the shape and nature of the conflict may be, one need only point to Operation Odyssey Dawn as an example. Compared to this military adventure, Iraq was a model of propriety; the Bush Administration spent months making its case, with the best intelligence available, and with much clearer Congressional authorization in the form of the post-9/11 Authorization to Use Military Force. Of course, one cannot expect most of the “Bush lied, people died!” crowd to grasp any of this, but neither intellectual honesty, nor intellectual rigor and consistency has ever been that crowd’s strong suit.

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