Obama is running out of time.
He promised the American people he would use only air strikes and enact a no-fly zone over Libya. He’s right to promise this – America knows all-too well how costly Arab armed conflicts are. Iraq and Afghanistan drained our treasuries and will be felt for decades.
But he needs to follow through on this promise – if not for innocent Libyan civilians, for his 2012 campaign. American lawmakers and citizens vehemently reject the notion of another war in the Middle East and North Africa. But there’s no evidence to suggest American foot soldiers are necessary to oust the Colonel.
America’s AC-130 aircraft is the perfect tool for the job – it could easily attack pro-Qadaffi forces held hidden in urban areas. But the U.S. Air Force has not utilized all the aircraft’s abilities. The Air Force erected a no-fly zone in a matter of days and crushed all hopes for a Qadaffi Air Force. Nice job, Uncle Sam. But he needs to do more to protect Libyans.
Senator John McCain traveled to Libya last week to meet with rebel leaders and expressed his support. He criticized Obama for not using sufficient force to topple the regime. While McCain may have just wanted to extract sound bytes for 2012 reelection commercials, I agree with the man. I do not always agree with the Senator, but I do agree that it is America’s role to protect civilians with our lavish armed forces.
The clock’s ticking, Mr. Obama. You’re right to promise not another war. Just please finish the job in Libya and let the UN take over from there.