” The aftermath of what was left in the wake of the intervention culminated in the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens on 9/11, 2012, with no one foreseeing what might happen in a country like Libya once Gaddafi was removed, with the C.I.A.’s efforts in that country in shambles. ” Taylor Marsh
No one foresaw what might happen? So, what Ms. Marsh is saying here is that we are lead by dolts with political, policy, and historical Alzheimer’s. That is unacceptable.
We have had almost twelve years of seeing what happens when you interviene in a failing / failed state and have no plan B. It is outright malfeasance bordering on gross criminality to not have a plan for what happens after you overthrow a regiem.
We have seen the results in Iraq and in Afghanistan of what happens when piss poor planning is the order of the day. We have had two miserable examples of how the Pottery Barn rule applies to foreign affairs.
Whether you call a spade a spade, and call it a war, or get cute and call it a “Kinetic Action,” military action, the resort to force and violence, is chock-a-block full of unintended consequences. That neither part of the Political Duopoly, neither the Donkeys nor the Elephants, have a clue about how this works is a stunning indictment of the rot among our elites.
What exactly is it about “you break it, you own it” that is so hard to understand? Owning it means imposing control through boots on the ground. Not having a peace-keeping force ready to rock and roll once Gaddafi joined the choir invisible was the worst kind of dereliction of duty. Unless Libya’s neighbors were willing to contribute those forces and our NATO allies were willing to back-stop that effort with troops / support units of their own, Obama should have given the Libyan misadventure a miss. Seriously, a man who was educated at premier ivy league schools did not see problems inherent with overthrowing our man in Tripoli? If so, the intelligence failure began between Obama’s ears and then spread out from there.
Let’s see a nation that spent two generations cocooned in bizarroland of a megalomaniacal and parapetic fool, a man who utterly ruined the structures of government, the public spaces, and the very society, is somehow just going to pop up from that disaster once the madman gets whacked? Got it.
Let’s take that nation, tortured, abused, atomized, and toss in a shit-load of weapons to the mix. Set all those bitter, angry, and vengeful people loose on the landscape and lightly wrap them up in an over-arching (dis)organization whose only only point of agreement is the above whacking of the tin-pot dictator and just hope for the best. Add oil and mix in to a nice flammable mix. No way that could possibly ignite and burn you down to the bone; right?
The humanitarian logic of intervening in Libya was solid. But once you play the (Jimmy) Carterite card of morality, you have to play the whole hand out to the last. If there was a moral, humanitarian reason for jumping into Libya, then there was an even better case for crushing the murderous Baathist regime in Syria. That Obama was unwilling to follow that bitter logic to its conclusion shows he was never really concerned by the immorality of Gaddafi and company.
The real issue, the real problem, is that the US elites are addicted to intervention. Worse, they are addicted to intervention on the cheep. They are unwilling to honest with the citizens and engage them in an adult conversation.
It is not like the elites don’t have a template. For all his faults in Gulf War I, Pappy Bush was able to present a prima facia case for intervening in Kuwait. Yes, both Don Renaldo and Pappy Bush helped to create the monstrosity that was our man in Baghdad, but in the end Pappy Bush was able to contain a threat to our national security. How far our elites have fallen from even that low bar.
In our (and it definitely ours now) intervention in Libya we again tried to attempted to do war on the cheep. No boots on the ground, the peasants will object. No real after-action plans, look ma no hands! Let’s roll out the old shock and awe because, you know, it worked so well in Iraq. Let’s gain cover by utilizing a rag-tag and motley collection of disperate angry men with conflicting motivations and small arms as our ground forces. No way these gangsters with guns, these multitudinous militias might cause problems after bad ol’ Muammar takes a dirt nap. With big G now gone, let us then flood the zone with CIA assets that stick out like a sore thumb. No way the locals will figure out will figure out the game or Ayman al-Zawahiri’s unhappy campers might find a way to exploit that bit of malfeasance.
Well, at least we have a final answer of who can answer the 3:00 phone call– no one. Not Magic Underwear Mitt, not Bogus Barry, not Blithering Biden, not Dave The Dolt, not Our Most Sacred Lady Of The Tastefully Appointed Pant-Suite, and not John McNasty. We are surrounded by empty suites unworthy of mopping halls of power, never mind occupying them.