October 20, 2011 | 3:04 pm | Categories: Rogue States
Eight months, 9,618 airstrike missions, $1.1 billion and one dictator later, President Obama announced that his not-quite-a-war in Libya is in its final phase.
“Our NATO mission will soon come to an end,” Obama announced on Thursday afternoon, hours after a NATO airstrike and rebel offensive led to the death of Moammar Gadhafi.
Obama’s statement provided no timetable for precisely when U.S. aircraft, warships and drones will end the NATO-led air campaign and naval blockade of Libya. But the Guardian reports that NATO military commanders are urging that the “air campaign should now be brought to an end,” with a decision coming as early as Friday.
Talk of a NATO peacekeeping mission, first floated by NATO commander Adm. James Stavridis, have waned as NATO capitols wearied of the Libya war. Vague as Obama’s statement was, it probably shuts the door on the possibility of one, even if an insurgency coalesces in Gadhafi’s wake.
Indeed, shortly after Obama’s speech, NATO’s civilian leader, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, put out a statement vowing, “We will terminate our mission in coordination with the United Nations and the National Transitional Council,” Libya’s interim government.
Obama took something close to a victory lap in his Rose Garden statement. While he stopped short of declaring victory — he told the Libyan people, “You have won the revolution” instead — he boasted, “Without putting a single service member on the ground, we achieved our objectives.”
Which isn’t really true, since the CIA was on the ground in Libya, even if uniformed U.S. military personnel weren’t.
But it’s part of a theme you should expect to hear as Obama runs for reelection. He tied Gadhafi’s downfall to U.S. successes against al-Qaida, the looming end of the Iraq war and what he described as cost-effective U.S. global leadership. What began as a reflection on the war in Libya wrapped up as a campaign speech. All for a war Obama waged unilaterally, without the blessing of Congress, by maintaining it was never really a war in the first place.
Photo: Flickr/U.S. Africa Command
- In October 2008, Jesus killed my archenemy with Leukemia and Pancreatic Cancer after my prayers.
- I love the divine bomb in my lungs. Hallelujah.
- I already have a huge jumbo, gigantic, colossal crush on Jesus
- Goodbye, my almost lover and ultimate beauty.
- Lord Jesus Christ is my Lion King. He is my Emperor.