Sunday, March 20, 2011

no exit strategy?

i keep reading that the u.s. has no exit strategy in libya. that's not exactly true. the u.s. has a rather simple exit strategy: it could simply stop entering libyan airspace, stop firing cruise missiles and stop flying planes over libyan airspace. then the u.s. would be out.

this isn't like the situation in iraq or afghanistan... at least not yet. in those other two countries the u.s. has a lot of soldiers, equipment, bases, contracts and development projects, on the ground in the country. the u.s. has "entered" iraq and afghanistan in a lot of ways that it still hasn't entered libya. it is all those other things that makes the exit so difficut.

my fear is that if this libyan campaign continues the u.s. inevitably will become more like those other two countries. commitments like that tend to spring up the longer the u.s. is involved. but it's not like we've gotten to a point where it would be logistically hard for the u.s. to leave libya. if the president ordered it, all u.s. forces could be out in less than one hour. that's not true with regard to iraq or afghanistan.

what the u.s. doesn't seem to have is a clear end game. at least not one that it has shared with the american public. which is itself a major problem. but there is still time to avert another quagmire.