Wednesday, July 13, 2011

NATO in Libya: Snatching Prolonged War from the Jaws of Victory

Gadaffi Close to Collapse + NATO Want a Ceasefire - Incredible! Two Army Times headlines tell a typical tale:

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is facing dramatic shortages of fuel for his soldiers and citizens in Tripoli, and he is running out of cash to pay his forces and what is left of his government, according to the latest U.S. intelligence reports. In France, the foreign minister reported that Gadhafi is prepared to leave power.
NATO suggested Tuesday that it would be willing to stop bombing Libya during Ramadan, if Moammar Gadhafi's forces also honored a cease-fire during the Muslim holy month.
Comment: Its an old joke in my classroom that is so often told all I have to do is draw a big arrow on the whiteboard and everyone grunts in acknowledgement. Meade at Gettysburg, the Turks at Gallipoli, Patton thundering through France to the border, halting the bombing of North Vietnam, the Japanese not attacking the oil tanks on Oahu, you all have your fav examples... You have the enemy on the run and then you stop. Yes there were good reasons for stopping in all of the examples cited and all the others you might be thinking about - but the story of the one that got away is as old as war itself... Lets not give Gadaffi a break just when he is feeling the pinch. 

The second story makes NATO sound more pinched than Mummah, when in fact its probably some politically correct PR noob pushing a kinder gentler campaign on NATO leadership. Stopping for Ramadan might seem to be all sensitive to the Muslim world, but in fact giving Gadaffi time to regroup will ensure many more Muslims die. Now is the time to force the dagger home, not take a knee.

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