The Obama Administration has opened the door a crack to the possibility of arming the Syrian rebels. The biggest problem with arming Syrian rebels is that there is no unified opposition to arm. If little was known about the Libyan rebels, we seem to know even less for Syria. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey said on CNN this weekend, “Until we’re a lot clearer about who they are and what they are, I think it would be premature to talk about arming them.”
|By: David Dayen Wednesday February 22, 2012 11:15 am|
|By: David Dayen Thursday December 29, 2011 1:00 pm|
Maybe this is the new big plan for the economy: sell as many weapons to the Middle East as possible. Let a million Rosie the Riveters bloom. That this buildup endangers an entire region, one holding the keys to the current energy infrastructure of the world, is just a sidelight to this, I guess.
|By: David Dayen Saturday April 16, 2011 1:00 pm|
Witness the strange little war in Libya, where NATO is running out of weapons but the rebels are not.
NATO apparently is running out of precision bombs for use in their air campaign, which doesn’t inspire much confidence in NATO. We’re what, a month into this operation?
|By: David Dayen Friday April 15, 2011 1:15 pm|
President Obama penned a joint op-ed with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron about the situation in Libya. The President has been awfully quiet about the Libyan mission since announcing it would take “days, not weeks” four weeks ago. But this statement reaffirms the commitment, and actually goes further by all but announcing a policy of regime change.
|By: David Dayen Thursday April 14, 2011 10:00 am|
Hey, remember that Libyan war? Third simultaneous conflict? I know, spending on wars has nothing to do with the budget, so it’s been removed from the discussion lately. Anyway, NATO’s in charge now, and the US bugged out. They’re not even running bombing missions anymore! Except, as friend to FDL Spencer Ackerman points out, they are.
|By: David Dayen Thursday March 31, 2011 4:23 pm|
The debate over whether to arm rebels in Libya still rages, although given that we have CIA operatives on the ground coordinating air strikes and a secret finding authorizing the President to provide covert support, including arms shipments, it seems like something of a red herring. But for what it’s worth, it’s incredibly unpopular. We knew that House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (who would statutorily have to be consulted and give his assent even in a covert shipment, though that never stopped Ronald Reagan) was against it, and he mentions to Foreign Policy that the Obama cabinet was split on the notion. More important, Turkey, the only majority-Muslim member of NATO, is against it.
|By: David Dayen Thursday March 31, 2011 8:39 am|
Turd sandwich, indeed.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday March 30, 2011 8:20 am|
The civil war in Libya has hit a snag, from the perspective of the rebels and the international coalition. As quickly has the rebels gained oil cities along the eastern coast, they are now losing them. After meeting fierce resistance on the road to Sirte, the rebels appear in disarray, still outmanned and outgunned by Gadhafi’s forces. Even with the close air support from the coalition, Gadhafi’s forces have the better of it on the ground, because they’re actually an army and they have actual firepower.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday March 29, 2011 2:15 pm|
At the beginning of his conference call today, deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes mentioned the London conference attended by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She met with coalition partners and members of the Libyan opposition, and he said the conference agreed on a dual track of responsibilities for the mission. But he also let slip, in reference to another question, that the conference discussed planning for a post-Gadhafi Libya. That may be prudent, but you basically have a set of officials far removed from the ground making decisions on the future of a country while running a military mission that supposedly does not include a mandate for regime change. In fact, the leaders at the London conference all agreed that Gadhafi had to go.
|By: David Dayen Saturday March 26, 2011 10:00 am|
Gadhafi is both defiant and dug in at the capital of Tripoli, while the rebels are a small, ragtag bunch that even with superior air support cannot really expect to win a conventional war. And that leads us to the next drip in the mission creep here, as the US mulls over arming the rebels.