Quote of the Day

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 31, 2011

The U.S. and allied military campaign in Libya is an embarassment. From the very beginning, U.S. and allied political and strategic objectives have been unclear, and thus U.S. and allied military forces have been asked to carry out military operations without a clear commander’s intent or end state. Out of all the operations orders that have been issued by the U.S. military for operations in Libya, in fact, only one — the order to carry out the evacuation of non-combatants — included an end state. None of the other orders issued to and by the U.S. military included an end state, in large part because senior military and civilian leaders either could not or chose not to explicitly articulate what the end state might be. The U.S. and allied military intervention is thus the very definition of an open-ended military intervention — the kind in which most U.S. decision-makers swore we would never again engage after Iraq and Afghanistan.

Andrew Exum. Amazingly enough, there is no longer any kind of serious discussion regarding the degree to which the Obama Administration’s military policy concerning Libya is seriously adrift. It’s as though people have stopped caring about the issue.

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