Monday, February 28, 2011

U.S. Warships move towards Libya

As the international community and the Obama administration dither, Col. Muammar Qaddafi regroups his forces in a final bid to cling to power. The behind-the-scenes talks between U.S., European and NATO officials about the possibility of flight restrictions over Libya may come too late if action isn't taken soon. Meanwhile, the U.S. military is repositioning its naval forces near North Africa indicating possible military steps to break the standoff between Muammar Qaddafi's army and rebel forces.

The U.S. naval forces that are being redeployed off the Libyan coast are the USS Enterprise from the Red Sea and the amphibious USS Kearsarge, which has a fleet of helicopters and about 1,800 Marines aboard. According to Fox News, the U.S. military is trying to figure out where to find a battalion of Marines to attach to the Marine Expeditionary Unit on board the USS Kearsarge. The unit's land troops are currently being used in Afghanistan, but the unit could be in a position to help a humanitarian effort in Libya if other troops are assigned from elsewhere.

Col. Qaddafi told Christiane Amanpour in a recent interview, "I'm surprised that we have an alliance with the West to fight al Qaeda, and now that we are fighting terrorists (Libyan rebels) they have abandoned us," "Perhaps they want to occupy Libya." Qaddafi went on to say that President Obama is a "good man", but said he appeared to be misinformed about the situation in Libya. "The statements I have heard from him (Obama) must have come from someone else," "America is not the international police of the world," Qaddafi added.

The Obama administration must take action now or it risks pro-Qaddifi forces regrouping and overtaking the rebel opposition. We saw what happened when President George H. W. Bush failed to help the Iraqis that were trying to oust Saddam Hussein after Operation Desert Storm. President Bush's failure to eliminate Hussein in 1991 contributed to President George W. Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003. Let's not repeat that failure!

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