The Obama Administration became the driving support for the UN Security Council’s vote for a “no-fly zone” in Libya. America’s ground; sea and air military forces are now stretched farther than at any time since the Viet Nam War in 1971. Current major military commitments include; 100,000 ground forces fully engaged in heavy combat in Afghanistan; 60,000 ground forces intermittently combat in Iraq; 5th Fleet’s 20,000 Sailors, Marines and Air Force personnel in the middle of a civil war in Bahrain; and the beginning of what will be an epic humanitarian mission in Japan. Launching a new military adventure in Libya will add a tremendous burden to our already over-committed military. The UN Resolution not only authorizes air patrols, but also allows UN participants to take “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians from government-led attacks. This is flowery language for sending in the U.S. Army and Marines.
Below is the worldwide positioning of America’s naval forces courtesy of Tyler Durden.
It will take an average of 2 aircraft carriers and 25 ships to support operations in Libya. Our nation only has 7 or 8 carriers able to support air operations at any given time and usually 2 of those need to be on roving patrols. As you can see above, those carrier groups are very busy.
Libya is the 17th largest country in the world by land mass, but only the 105th by population. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has ruled the nation since at the age of 27 he formed a coalition of western Libyan tribes to over-throw Libya’s King Idris and his coalition of eastern Libyan tribes in September 1969. Two weeks ago the American media was proclaiming victory for Libyan “freedom fighters”, which are really just a coalition of the eastern tribes, as they victoriously approached the gates of western capital of Tripoli. Gaddafi’s forces have counter-attacked, swept across 80% of the country, and are surrounding the eastern city of Bengasi, the rebel’s center of power. This Libyan civil war is about tribal control, not about democracy!
British and French forces could be in token action over Libya in a day or so, but the UN expects United States to provide the real “shock and awe” by moving one to two of its major flotillas into the center of the Mediterranean. Oil prices rose by $3.44 yesterday and another $1.71 this morning to above $103 a barrel as commodity traders worried the United Nations’ authorization of military strikes against forces loyal to Colonel Gadhafi could prolong the conflict and threaten crude exports. “Hopes of the situation normalizing soon and oil shipments being resumed could now receive a dampener,” said a report from Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “The price of oil should certainly remain volatile.” Fierce fighting in Libya has already damaged oil operations and cut most of the OPEC nation’s 1.6 million barrels a day of crude output.
President “Teddy Roosevelt” warned our citizens just over 100 years ago that America must “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. The “Rough Rider” President served his nation as a military leader and understood the tremendous responsibility that comes with leading Americans into combat. He was the first President to project America’s international military capability when he sent the entire U.S. fleet of sixteen battleships, referred to as the “Great White Fleet”, to circumvent the earth to demonstrate America’s capability to project “blue water” power anywhere on the globe.
Currently our service men and women are being asked to make extraordinary sacrifices to support America’s elevated interests around the world. These loyal sons and daughters of our nation ask very little in return to provide our nation with the big stick. Unfortunately, our leaders like to talk loud all the time and throw lots of big stick at the latest media concern.