Obama has done the almost impossible: he is losing a war to a country on the Mediterranean with less than 7 million people, and an almost perfect topography, weather, and location for NATO air operations. World War II American Liberators and B-17s on bombing runs from Sicily would have been more effective than Anglo-French jets. All that can be said for the mess is that Obama seems to have wanted to embarrass the usually parasitic, ankle-biting Europeans, and at least accomplished that—at the expense of Western military prestige. (The only thing worse than fighting a needless war against a savage weak regime is losing it to a savage weak regime.)
Speaking of WW2. He also said this: "Almost every day, we are borrowing $4 billion, enough to build a new fleet aircraft carrier (and, of course, are not building aircraft carriers with such daily deficits as we did in World War II)."
Yeah we're boned. In ten years the government has doubled in size.
I understand why Obama, like most all who are products of the university and government, believes reason and dialogue should trump deterrence. I wish that he were correct, and the humane rules of the Harvard Law School lounge were those of the international community. It would certainly be cheaper and safer if logos rather than pride, fear, and perceived self-interest adjudicated relationships between powers. Eloquence should outweigh muscularity; and listening at times is as critical as acting. But the problem is that the world beyond our shores is largely non-democratic, poor, tribal, zealous, and angry, and wants the sort of power, affluence, and influence that we long ago took for granted as our birthright—and it looks for ways of fulfilling its agendas, often at the expense of weaker others.
The world by 2016 will be a very dangerous place, as Americans see every dollar “wasted” on national security as a dollar “stolen” from their own god-given federal entitlements.
Oh and in pure coincidence, here's VDH talking about Turkey's top military officers resigning en masse over protest of the increasingly Islamist government going after them.
At some point, an ambitious Turkey, its military and government now in sync as in past Ottoman fashion, will reassert its prior influence in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean without too much worry over what a NATO rendered impotent in Libya, an imploding European Union, or a nearly insolvent U.S. might say. Greece — without money or many friends these days — should be worried, both over the unresolved tensions in Cyprus and over disputed areas in the Aegean. If Turkey pressed a bit, what would it have to worry about? A Germany angry over treatment shown its friend Greece? An ascendant and powerful NATO as evidenced through its brilliant air campaign against Qaddafi? A strong and assertive U.S. as shown by reset diplomacy over the last three years, and the financial health of America?
Classy. We've got military adventurism and the creation of a toothless lion and weak horse.