Libya instance of foreign policy on the fly
McCain is pushing a no-fly zone. Gates says hold on there. Obama says, let’s sort it out.
The trouble with this picture is the absence of a clear U. S. Foreign Policy that defines if, when, and how the U. S. might support rebels against dictators. The current scenario, before Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya was that the U. S. backed dictators favoring their stability to any alternative.
Now that rebels are throwing around the words individual freedom and democracy (in some instances, not all) the game changes.
The process of transitioning from one form of government to another takes time, as in the American experience. The first stage of the process is rebels getting organized. The second stage is rebels defining their desired outcome while concurrently gaining a fighting foothold. Up against the odds, they may request outside assistance.
If their platform for change is worthy, then outsiders may assist. That is an evaluation process.
McCain and the hawks want to skip over the process and just make a big assumption that the USA belongs in the middle of something before we even know what it is. That is the great American mistake and McCain should know better.
“"We can't risk allowing Gaddafi to massacre people from the air," McCain, the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said on ABC's "This Week With Christiane Amanpour."
But White House officials appeared to play down expectations of an expanded U.S. military role in the immediate future. While insisting that no options have been ruled out, White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley cited the difficulty of enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, a vast country armed with modern, Russian-supplied antiaircraft defenses.
"Lots of people throw around phrases like no-fly zone," Daley said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "They talk about it as though it's just a video game."
Daley's remarks echoed the caution voiced by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who dismissed as "loose talk" the clamor for a U.S.-led air campaign. Gates said that any effort to secure the skies over Libya, a country roughly the size of Alaska, would have to begin with military strikes on Gaddafi's air defense network and would inevitably lead to an expanded U.S. mission.”