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Thread: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

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    re: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

    Quote Originally Posted by majora$$hole View Post
    not a double stardard those places didn't have oil flowing benieth their feet.
    Again, Libya's oil exports are negligible when Saudi Arabia ups it's production to compensate

    Trying to guide or direct the outcome of a revolution serves what purpose?

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    re: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    Again, Libya's oil exports are negligible when Saudi Arabia ups it's production to compensate

    Trying to guide or direct the outcome of a revolution serves what purpose?
    Not true at all.

    According to a diplomatic cable, leaked by Wikileaks, oil production by Saudi Arabia has already peaked, and can no longer be increased:

    Saudi Arabia’s ability to boost oil production much above current levels is questionable and the country’s overall crude reserves may have been overstated by up to 40 percent, American diplomats in Riyadh warned in confidential cables written between 2007 and 2009. The dispatches were released by Wikileaks and published on Tuesday by The Guardian newspaper in Britain.

    One cable written during the 2008 oil shock, when crude prices spiked to nearly $150 per barrel, warned that Saudi Aramco, the Saudi state oil company, no longer appeared to have the ability to raise production sufficiently to affect global oil prices.
    Cheap oil has gone the way of the dodo bird. Where's all that green energy that politicians have been promising? As for Libya's oil, do you really believe that there is no correlation between war in Libya and the rising prices of gasoline here in the US?
    Last edited by danarhea; 03-28-11 at 01:37 PM.
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    re: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

    There's still cheap oil, we just can't get it. It costs Saudi Arabia like 6 bucks a barrel to pull the oil from the ground. It's not like it's that expensive, it just that it goes from being pulled out of the ground at 6 dollars to being sold at like 90 dollars.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    re: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    Most countries in the Middle East have some kinda mixture of Shi'a, Sunni and whatever. They aren't completely one or the other. All that aren't monarchies now, were monarchies before they became republics/dictatorships/president for life. You simply cannot ignore that
    Correct. But U.S. interests are not spread evenly across the region. What happens in Iran or Saudi Arabia is far more important for the U.S. than what happens in Libya.

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    re: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Correct. But U.S. interests are not spread evenly across the region. What happens in Iran or Saudi Arabia is far more important for the U.S. than what happens in Libya.
    According to Gates yesterday when asked if Libya were a "Vital Interest" of the US, he replied "No".... Now make the case how Obama didn't overstep his powers via the War powers act by not consulting congress.

    Clearly he thinks Congress is neutered, and only the UN matters.


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    re: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    According to Gates yesterday when asked if Libya were a "Vital Interest" of the US, he replied "No".... Now make the case how Obama didn't overstep his powers via the War powers act by not consulting congress.

    Clearly he thinks Congress is neutered, and only the UN matters.


    j-mac
    Congress is neutered, it neutered itself. It gave away its power, the President (who was supposed to have the LEAST amount of power) is gaining the most amount of power. It's becoming more King like ever administration. This is why we NEED to insist on an officially declared war where Congress passes a Declaration of War before troops and military can be used in this manner. It was supposed to be controlled, we didn't have a standing army at first and that's why things are written the way they are. Now that we have a standing army, it is pressing that we restrict the way in which government can use it.

    I mean, we've already circumvented the Constitution with the Wars Powers Act; and now we can't even pay heed to that! We are loosing control folks, it is imparative that if we want to restore the Republic and get things back into a reasonable setting, we are going to have to reign government it; and we may have to do it a bit harshly.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    re: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    You should. Russia is a powerhouse (supplying arms)
    Russia will supply arms to whomever they want regardless of US policy or international laws.

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    How did our interference in Bosnia help the US? Answer that, Ron.
    The country is relatively free and peaceful. Every time the US can help a nation to join the free world is a win-win IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    You can make the argument that we were opposing genocide, i.e. no more Nazi holocausts. But we didn't intervene in Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge slaughtered 1/3 of the population and we didn't intervene in Africa when one tribe decided to slaughter another.
    Yes, that is true. Cambodia was right after Vietnam and nobody wanted to go help.

    IMO Africa is largely hopeless at the moment. Unfortunately the power struggles in Africa are, for the most part, between two groups who delight in killing innocent people.

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    A double standard???
    You can certainly make a credible argument that it is.
    The national security of the United States can never be left in the hands of liberals.

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    re: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    While the response is probably correct that NATO should plan and implement its operations according to the needs, cicumstances, and goals involved, even if Russia might disagree, one should not dismiss Russian concerns. Russia currently feels that the mission is extending beyond the parameters of UNSC. Res. 1973. IMO, the language is sufficiently broad to allow for the close-air support that is, in fact, being provided for the anti-Gadhafi forces. The resolution allows for "all necessary measures... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya..." The rationale for close-air support can be as follows: (1) Libya's armed forces have had a history of indiscriminate bombardment against civilian areas (among other abuses); (2) Protection of civilians requires destruction of such forces to the extent that they no longer pose a threat to civilians; (3) Destruction of those forces requires targeting their equipment and personnel until their capabilities are significantly degraded. No explicit mention of close-air support needs to be made. The rationale serves the same purpose. Not surprisingly, the mission is not just a no-fly zone. It has evolved into providing close-air support. Russia's being "surprised" on the turn things have taken is really not credible.

    Having said that, the U.S. can ill afford to ignore Russia's critical interests. There, Russia can and will act to safeguard those interests. Georgia's failed attempt to use force to resolve its own internal dispute provides one lesson that Russia will act when it feels its critical interests are impacted. Russia's near abroad is considered vital to Russia. With respect to the Libya situation, Russia's strategy going forward could involve a number of measures aimed at "punishing" the U.S./West. Those measures could include, among other things:

    1. A guaranteed veto of any future UNSC resolution that does not provide specific limits on what is authorized e.g., a resolution would need to authorize a no-fly zone, define what that means, and actions beyond those required for to implement and maintain it would be barred e.g., attacks on armor that have nothing to do with the NFZ would be barred.

    2. Reduced cooperation on the Iranian issue. There are limits to how far Russia could proceed on this front, barring a political development that allows Russia to accept a nuclear-armed Iran (still quite unlikely).

    3. A greater degree of resource nationalism. Russia has demonstrated in the past that it will use its resources to pursue what it perceives to be national interests (actually, this should not be surprising, as resources offer a dimension of power).

    4. Further deepening of relations with China. There are broad common interests (especially economic/resources) that are driving a tightening of the relationship. Balance-of-power objectives could gain prominence, especially if Russia is able to appeal to China's wariness about outsiders interfering in the internal domestic affairs of states (China has issues concerning the Tibet region and Taiwan that it views as vital internal domestic matters).

    On issues of mutual benefit to the critical interests of the U.S. and Russia, progress is not likely to be blocked. Hence, if the U.S. and Russia were to pursue further nuclear arms reductions, the technical details not Libya would present the greatest challenge.

    Finally, in this case, Russia's concerns are valid. There is an elevated risk of a civil war in Libya should the Gadhafi dictatorship be driven from power. The regime still enjoys significant popular support. Tribal rivalries are real. The anti-Gadhafi elements had shown poor political and military skill prior to the international air support being provided to shift the battlefield situation. It remains to be seen whether those elements, largely agreed on Gadhafi's ouster but not much more, could form a broad-based transitional government that would provide stability in the face of the power vacuum that would exist following the departure of Gadhafi's regime. Such a transitional government would need to include much more than just the anti-Gadhafi elements and that would be a tall order. Mistrust or worse would exist on both sides.

    If one recalls, pre-war military planning for Iraq all but ignored the extreme risk of civil conflict there. The pre-war narrative was simply that once Saddam Hussein fell, Iraq would 'live happily ever after in peace and stability.' In short, that narrative ignored both Iraq's history and the general risks associated with the emergence of power vacuums in states with longstanding ethnic rivalries. A long period of insurgency and violence followed, something that General Zinni had warned about in his 1999 Desert Crossing exercise, but was ignored in the run-up to the 2003 war.

    While I do not believe Libya is going to evolve into another Somalia--Libya has substantial valuable resources that can readily be produced (especially oil) that could provide for growth that would benefit all parts of the country, unlike Somalia's essentially zero-sum framework from fewer resources able to be produced/famine risk from a combination of climate and bad policy--tribal rivalries, secular-Islamist divide, and signficant divisions among Libya's people could lead to at least a period of post-Gadhafi violence, perhaps civil war. The coming international conference on Libya does not assure that that risk can be managed. Such an approach proved inadequate in the face of the challenges in Afghanistan, though I believe Libya's risks are lower than those in Afghanistan, which remains fundamentally a highly decentralized society.

    Does NATO have a plan to assure a broad-based transitional government? Does NATO have a contingency plan should violence begin to materialize following the departure of the Gadhafi dictatorship? Does NATO have a plan to prevent wholesale purges of those suspected to support or sympathize with Gadhafi? Those are real questions that need to be resolved.

    In any case, it is those dangers and the absence of a critical U.S. interest in the outcome that led me to oppose anything more than a strict NFZ. I do not support the current approach of providing close-air support, even as I hope that the anti-Gadhafi forces will prevail. As previously noted, I believe the revolution should be waged, won, or lost by Libyans. That is not the case today by any stretch of the imagination. NATO air power is playing a decisive role in the battlefield outcome. Objectively, if the revolution is won, it will have been won largely by non-Libyans.
    As long a Putin is calling the shots in Russia nothing they say can be trusted and nothing they do is because of the stated purpose.

    But I did like your post. Well written with many good points.
    The national security of the United States can never be left in the hands of liberals.

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    re: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    According to Gates yesterday when asked if Libya were a "Vital Interest" of the US, he replied "No".... Now make the case how Obama didn't overstep his powers via the War powers act by not consulting congress.

    Clearly he thinks Congress is neutered, and only the UN matters.
    Three quick points:

    1. I strongly agree with Secretary Gates. I have not been able to identify any critical national interest at stake in Libya.
    2. IMO, military action should be limited to situations where critical U.S. interests or those of critical allies are at stake. Having said that, I do not believe the War Powers Act offers such explicit instruction (1547 provides sufficient latitude for the current operation). IMO, should the mission remain one of providing offensive air support for the anti-Gadhafi forces--a form of direct military intervention in Libya's civil war--I believe Congress should exercise its authority under the War Powers Act to wind things down beginning in 60 days from the start of such operations.
    3. While UN support might be viewed as helpful, the reality remains that the source of U.S. military and foreign policy authority is the Constitution. No UN resolution can substitute for the Constitution.

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    re: White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission [edited]

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Three quick points:

    1. I strongly agree with Secretary Gates. I have not been able to identify any critical national interest at stake in Libya.
    2. IMO, military action should be limited to situations where critical U.S. interests or those of critical allies are at stake. Having said that, I do not believe the War Powers Act offers such explicit instruction (1547 provides sufficient latitude for the current operation). IMO, should the mission remain one of providing offensive air support for the anti-Gadhafi forces--a form of direct military intervention in Libya's civil war--I believe Congress should exercise its authority under the War Powers Act to wind things down beginning in 60 days from the start of such operations.
    3. While UN support might be viewed as helpful, the reality remains that the source of U.S. military and foreign policy authority is the Constitution. No UN resolution can substitute for the Constitution.

    Absolutely. And thanks for the unambiguous detail.
    Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

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