Posted By David Rothkopf Monday, March 21, 2011
The White House clearly has a problem on its hands. The launch of the military intervention with Libya has been messy at best. The fog of war is supposed to be restricted to the battlefield, but for the moment it seems to have settled in over the White House. Here are just a few of the contradictions and confusions swirling about at the moment:
National Security Advisor Tom Donilon was on the record as saying the U.S. had no strategic interests in Libya. Now, he must coordinate an American involvement that would be irresponsible unless indeed such interests existed.
The President and his team made it clear through their early remarks that America would not be in lead in this mission. But the Pentagon over the weekend let it be known that Americans were indeed in command but plans were being discussed for a hand-over at some unspecified point in the future.
The involvement of the Arab League was allegedly a critical catalyst for U.S. support, but military support has been slow to materialize, minimal when it has, and political opposition to key components of the mission — like bombing to neutralize threats on the ground — has emerged.