Sunday, April 24, 2011
Libya: Specific Targeting: Predator Drones, Gazillion Political Cartoons
From Denny: America is off their war holiday and back in the driver's seat with NATO in Libya. Read that as the other guys so screwed up they demanded America go back to spending all the money and taking all the heat when the bombs land on unintended targets. They never did get their targeting as accurate as America does.
The latest? Well, at least we are using less expensive weaponry. This time we are back to using the drones with Hellfire missiles like we used in Pakistan. Of course, Pakistan is tired of us and ordered out our CIA intelligence gathering crowd. They aren't too happy with our drones killing off well-paying Taliban who fund the corrupt members of the Pakistani military and political circle.
So, what is a self-respecting American military to do? Well, just slide those useful drones right on over to Libya, of course: brilliant! We can boast about how we save money for the budget deal of a life time. Then we can brag how we don't kill quite as many innocents when we bomb Gadafi's troops.
Considering how the Libyan rebels are demanding NATO send in ground troops, this is a better bet. The American people are not in the mood to send in ground troops anywhere in the world, especially Libya. Nor are the American people in the mood to slide down that slippery slope of arming the rebels.
If the other NATO members like France and Britain want to arm them, then, please, allow them to pay for it. As it is, the Arab League is conspicuously quiet when it comes to offering up their wallets while they are quite loud about all the things which must be done to chase out Gadafi.
Many military experts, and the rebels as well, are upset the fighting is at a stalemate. The reality is a stalemate at this early juncture is actually a huge win for the rebels. These guys are virtually clueless. The majority are only just now beginning to listen to the experienced soldiers who defected to help them.
The rebels are suffering terrible losses as they learn to mobilize better, train as real soldiers, get their supply lines functioning without hiccups. Recently, there were two generals vying for control of the rebel army and the council finally settled upon one choice. It's squabbling like this - and scrambling for leadership - that stalls a revolution's progress.
The Predator Drones will be flying twice a day every 24 hours, right now primarily around Misrata. This city is the third largest in Libya and the focal point of resistance in western Libya. The rebels have been holding out here under relentless attack from Gadafi forces. They could use some relief like these drones.
From Marine Gen. James Cartwright: "What they will bring that is unique to the conflict is their ability to get down lower, therefore to be able to get better visibility on targets. They are uniquely suited for urban areas."
What did Sec. of Defense Gates say about the possibility of America getting drawn in deeper into the Libyan conflict? He denies using the drones is "mission creep." He commented that the Predators are only a "modest contribution" to the NATO-led effort.
At present just how much is America spending on the Libyan rebels and what are we giving them? We are spending $25 million, supplying them from excess military stock in the way of vehicles and "other supplies." No details on those supplies though most likely they are flak jackets, helmets, uniforms and the like.
So far, President Obama says he is not arming the rebels with lethal weapons. Erring on the side of smart caution, refusing to hand out lethal weapons like candy, this administration is wary of a group of which so little is known and so much is still disorganized.
Currently, President Obama still asserts: "The U.S. military role would be limited to providing surveillance, refueling and other noncombat support operations."
A couple of late night comedian jokes from David Letterman about the Libya situation:
The White House says we'll be staying in Libya longer than expected. I didn't see that coming. – David Letterman
The original estimate for Libya was two weeks. Now they're predicting about 12 years. – David Letterman
Check out the countless cartoonist opinion about this Libya situation:
*** Benghazi, Libya Photo by Marwan Naamani/AP
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