Libya Command Hand-over: Not So Simple

Via the BBC:  Libya military operation: Who should command?

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday that Washington expected to turn over control of the operation to a coalition headed by France, Britain or Nato "in a matter of days".

But this is not proving so simple.

The piece is worth reading in full, as it indicates some serious confusion as to where to go next in terms of commanding this operation.  It is the kind of thing that I personally would prefer be worked out before the first shots are fired.

More on this topic from The Envoy:  International alliance divided over Libya command

President Barack Obama, speaking in Santiago, Chile on Monday, defended his decision to order U.S. strikes against Libyan military targets, and insisted that the mission is clear.

And like a parade of Pentagon officials the past few days, Obama insisted that the United States’ lead military role will be turned over—"in days, not weeks"—to an international command of which the United States will be just one part.

The only problem: None of the countries in the international coalition can yet agree on to whom or how the United States should hand off responsibilities.

Again:  is it too much to ask to have these things sorted out before hostilities commenced?

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter