Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 28, 2011 / 22 Adar II, 5771

Murky mission in Libya: Neither our objectives nor our role is clear

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Crimean War (1853-1856) is remembered more for its contributions to fashion than for its impact on history. (The Cardigan sweater and the Raglan sleeve are named for British commanders.) We'd know little of it were it not for Alfred Lord Tennyson's stirring poem: "The Charge of the Light Brigade."

That poem commemorates 600 British cavalrymen who charged into a valley ringed on three sides by Russian artillery. They were slaughtered.

Of that charge, Gen. Pierre Bosquet, commander of the French forces in the Crimea, said: "It is magnificent, but it is not war. It is madness."

I suspect Gen. Bosquet would say the same about our intervention in Libya's civil war.

This is more because of the manner of it than because our purpose (whatever it is) is unworthy. The U.S. Army teaches "Nine Principles of War." President Barack Obama has violated them all.

The most important are "objective" (direct every military operation towards a clearly defined, decisive and obtainable objective) and "unity of command" (for every objective, ensure unity of effort under one responsible commander).

What is our objective in Libya? Is it to oust bloodthirsty dictator Moammar Gadhafi? Or is it merely to protect civilians from his wrath? Mr. Obama says one thing one day, something else the next.

If our objective is to protect civilians, is it obtainable? How can we protect civilians from Mr. Gadhafi's wrath if we leave him in power? How do we distinguish between civilians and combatants in a civil war in which few combatants wear uniforms? And how do we do it using air forces only?

The president's been opaque about our objectives in Libya. But he's made it clear he doesn't want the United States to lead the effort. The United States will transfer command of the military mission "in a matter of days, not weeks," Mr. Obama said at a news conference Monday.

For the next few days it wasn't clear to whom leadership would be transferred. NATO seemed a logical candidate, but Turkey initially vetoed that. France proposed military operations be run by a "political steering committee" comprised of foreign ministers from the United States, Europe and some Muslim countries.

So much for unity of command. No successful military operation ever has been run by a committee.

We saw why Monday when France and Germany stormed out of a NATO meeting. France didn't want NATO to lead military operations. Germany opposed any military involvement in Libya. Italy refused to let its bases be used if NATO weren't in charge. Norway said it was suspending participation until the command structure was clarified.

Turkey relented late last week, and NATO will assume overall command, though just what that means is, at this writing, still being worked out. The deal announced Thursday papers over differences rather than resolving them.

"It's really a multiple choice alliance," said retired Canadian Maj. Gen. Lewis Mackenzie. "You take what you want to do and some aren't doing anything, others are doing a bit, and the rest take on the heavy lifting."

Mr. Obama can transfer leadership, but it will still be U.S. forces who do the heavy lifting because only we have the capability. Of the first 124 cruise missiles fired at Mr. Gadhafi's forces, we fired 122.

So all that will change with NATO involvement is that our forces will be under foreign command.

There's no time line for how long the operation will take, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. It could last "up to 30 years," a British minister said.

Liberals generally, and this president in particular, think they can manipulate reality with the words they use. Every problem is a "messaging" problem.

So Libya isn't a war, said a flack for the National Security Council. It's a "kinetic military action."

And an "exit strategy" is no longer a plan for getting out, Mr. Obama said in an interview Tuesday. It's fighting on in a lesser role.

Jake Tapper of ABC News said this reminded him of Humpty Dumpty, who said: "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean."

Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, wars are judged on their outcomes, not on the words used to describe them.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

Jack Kelly Archives


© 2009, Jack Kelly

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles