If Grey-Eyed Athena did Odyssey Dawn


Photo courtesy US Marine Corps on Flickr

Ricks is right.

It’s fallacious to compare the recent action in Libya with the Iraq War.  Regime change isn’t likely to happen without a sizable troop commitment, and with Qadaffi firmly in control of western Libya.  (That also means neither is a long-term occupation)  And unlike Iraq, the US is going to war with the added bonus of a UN Security Council resolution, and the tacit backing of the Arab League (though the Arab League quickly reneged on its approval).

Yet, could NATO claim success if it simply brokered a cease-fire between Qadaffi and rebel forces?  And even if there were a cease-fire, what would be the terms?  Qadaffi doesn’t seem the sort to share power.  Would he simply let the rebels–hardly a monolithic group–keep what they’ve seized thus far?

More importantly, would NATO continue to enforce the cease-fire with a No-Fly Zone?  And if so, for how long?

In that case, maybe Iraq does prove a useful analogy.  That is, if you’re referring to the Iraqi No-Fly Zone, circa 1991-2003.

In that conflict, the US contained Saddam Hussein–and attempted to shield Iraq’s minority groups–through a decade of constant combat air patrols, and almost weekly aerial strikes.  Are we prepared to do the same in Libya as well?

Update: I just read this piece.  Is The New Yorker hiring?

Update 2:  At least I’m not the only one confused as to where Odyssey Dawn is headed.

About Crispin Burke

Major Crispin Burke is a US Army aviator qualified in the UH-60 and LUH-72 helicopters. Major Burke has served in the 82nd Airborne Division, 10th Mountain Division, and Joint Task Force-Bravo in Honduras. In what is likely a sad statement on the state of humanity, Major Burke's writings, musings, and irreverent cartoons have been featured at Small Wars Journal, National Defense University, Foreign Policy Online, Wired Magazine, Egremont, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Great Satan's Girlfriend.
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