Wednesday, March 30, 2011



Ex Captain X and über smart Zach H  (oh! he got game bay bee!) fire up the plowshears into the famous Red Mist Making A 10 Thunderbolt II production centre at the world famous CNAS with a Libyavention Policy Paper.

"Forging a Libya Strategy: Policy Recommendations for 44"

Consisting of four main points co - existing conterminously in the space time continuum - and

"...Argue that U.S. interests in Libya
, which include the protection of civilians and providing momentum to the revolutionary fervor sweeping the region, come at a potentially high cost to the United States. In addition, continued engagement may detract focus and resources away from other critical issues in the region and globally

X's nom d'guerre at
Abu Moqawama heats up the forge to cold rolled steel stats: 

"...The following bullet points will not do justice to the arguments Zack and I advance, so, again, read the entire thing before making a comment. In summary, we argue:

1. No matter what anyone else says, the United States and its allies are at war in Libya.

2. The United States has very few interests in Libya.

3. Unlike with respect to Afghanistan in 2009, the Obama Administration went to war in Libya without a deliberate planning process that forced policy makers to articulate U.S. interests, goals and assumptions. This helps to explain why the administration has had so much difficulty articulating, for the American people, our interests in, goals toward and assumptions about Libya.

4. Now that we're in this mess, a policy of regime change in Libya makes the most sense.

5. We see two possible outcomes in Libya: either a rapid collapse of the regime, or a stalemate. We assess the latter as more likely.

6. In order to avoid the latter and in light of U.S. interests, we believe the United States should establish a structure of incentives to get Moammar Gadhafi to leave. Kinetic military action by U.S. forces is not part of our proposed incentive structure. In fact, we think the United States should halt direct military action and work to broaden the international coalition to include more countries who do have interests in Libya.

7. We should be prepared to accept the status quo antebellum, though. Why? See #2.

The X and Zach score some direct hits yet the ancient meme vClausewitz schwerpunkt'd in Vom Kriege seems...MIA. While policy recco's are not a set piece battle, maybe they should be:

Every instinct will cry out to the commanders for pause, rest - refreshment.

"Once the great victory is gained, the next question is not about rest, not about taking breath, not about considering, not about reorganising, etc., etc., but only of pursuit of fresh blows wherever necessary, of the capture of the enemy's capital, of the attack of the armies of his allies, or of whatever else appears to be a rallying point for the enemy. "

Libya's Odyssey Dawn is a chance to Forge an Opportunity, to shape the battlefield far beyond Colonel Khadaffy's possible mash up with the Clash.

Despite any lolable tho'ts of fracturing the fragile coalition one goal should simply be getting to see the Colonel hauled off for a trial of some sorts - or youtubing vids of flies walking on his eyeballs. Either is fine.

Libya could also be turned into a giant sucker trap for al Qaeda and kindred creepy spirits - another quagmire for the haj by deploying those unique assets like covert special forces/SEALS/Rangers/D Boys/Teufel Hunden Recon, spies and Drones Gone Wild.  

If the forge's flickering flames reveal a flicker of Great Satan's blood sworn enemies in Libya - like aQ and forward elements of the overtly robust girthy Body Part Collector General of Hiz'B'allah's rocket rich rejectionist creeps it should forge an opportunity to close, engage, capture and kill them.

And hope it's both slow and painful as Great Satan visits righteous payback on their heads - repeatedly, without modesty or restraint.

Pic - "Forge the Future"


- said...


I agree that Mr. Exum and Mr. Hosford's policy brief was the shit; I was likewise enthused. However I think their central argument of Libyan nonintervention -- that the US has little strategic interests -- is (implicitly) predicated on a faulty value they place on the long term costs of not intervening. Given: (1)our bloody history with Libya and Gaddafi's penchant to outsource his extremism, (2)our stern words concerning their rebellion quelling tactics, (3)Gaddafi subsequently telling us to go take a long walk off a short pier, we had to engage lest other nations think that America's two current wars have reduced our power projection capabilities to those of capons. Considering the length of time that our operations in Afghanistan will require to wind down, we cannot have little despots (and the bigger boys around the way) incorporating a policy of US military isolationism into their foreign policy frameworks.

Also, Exum and Hosford's opportunity cost assertion is tenuous at best, not least because they didn't elaborate what the implications for inaction would have been, let alone detailing a better allocation of resources.

If you accept the above view then obviously our "decision to go to war in Libya stands in marked contrast" to our "careful, deliberate" discussions to double down in Afghanistan. Even with UN Res 1973, pundits were saying that perhaps we were too late with Benghazi. The timing window to avoid a possible massacre argues itself.

Their subsequent predictions and policy recommendations are sound.

I think your idea of turning Libya "into a giant sucker trap" is entirely rubbish. And not like decent rubbish that freegans and their ilk are welcome to scrounge for as long as they keep away from me, but weird, what-is-that-thing refuse. Deploying more "unique assets" like special forces would be a disaster since that would run the risk of getting us mired in another tar pit of urban guerrilla shootouts in an area where the terrain heavily favors the enemy. See: Israel vs. Hezbollah, 2006.

This is a limited war with limited goals. (For a limited time only!) Enough to send the message to any would-be ne'er do wellers but not too much to distract us from more important operations.

- Ellsworth Toohey

Michal said...

Uhh, hang on... is this argument, that was presented here, about affecting regime change?

Wasn't this mission supposed to be about protecting civilians or somesuch? How exactly is the regime change going to protect the civilians, when the rebels are randomly arresting and robbing people, eg.:

Now I'm perfectly fine with hauling Gaddafi off to a trial but...I'm interesting how exactly does the US justify breaking the very UN resolution it pushed for.

Michal said...

Pardon me, a slight correction: I'm interested in hearing

Anonymous said...

Uh, Ellsworth - the ME109 is correct about taking on al Qaeda in the Mahgrib. "44"s directive to disrupt and dismantle should be in full play here.

Exum and Hosford's "Forgin'" paper may not have had the benefit of late breaking news about the 'flicker' of aQ or Hesbollah in Libya when written.

Mike O