U.S. Admiral: Goal In Libya Is To Kill Qaddaffi

When the United States first intervened in Libya, we were told that it was to protect civilians. In fact, the United Nations Security Council Resolution that authorized force specifically limited itself to the protection of civilians. Well, apparently, someone didn’t tell the top U.S. Admiral involved in the operation:

House Armed Services Committee member Mike Turner (R-OH) told The Cable that U.S. Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of the NATO Joint Operations Command in Naples, Italy, told him last month that NATO forces are actively targeting and trying to kill Qaddafi, despite the fact that the Obama administration continues to insist that “regime change” is not the goal and is not authorized by the U.N. mandate authorizing the war.

“The U.N. authorization had three components: blockade, no fly zone, and civil protection. And Admiral Locklear explained that the scope of civil protection was being interpreted to permit the removal of the chain of command of Qaddafi’s military, which includes Qaddafi,” Turner said. “He said that currently is the mission as NATO has defined.”

“I believed that we were [targeting Qaddafi] but that confirmed it,” Turner said. “I believe the scope that NATO is pursuing is beyond what is contemplated in civil protection, so they’re exceeding the mission.”

So let me see if I got this straight. The President didn’t seek Congressional approval and doesn’t believe he needs to. We are operating under a United Nations authorization that limits itself to protecting civilians. And along with our allies, we’ve decided unilaterally that “protecting civilians” somehow can be interpreted to mean “overthrow the government of Libya.” Or, to put it more precisely, we are now operating outside the UNSCR and are effectively making war on Libya.

Why? Because we want to.

 

FILED UNDER: Africa, Barack Obama, Military Affairs, National Security, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics, World Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Well, duh.

    Obviously this has been about overthrowing Gaddafi.

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    This wasn’t the plan. Ghaddafi was supposed to accidentally get dead months ago so we could pretend it was all for the good of the people, rather than western oil companies tired of not making sufficiently obscene profits from Libyan oil.

  3. A voice from another precinct says:

    @Ben Wolf: Not everything in the Middle East is about oil company profits–a lot, certainly, but not everything. Some of it is about hubris. I think Libya qualifies.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Gaddafi sells us oil. This is not about oil. Gaddafi has a history of terrorism and despotism. I’ll toast his death.

  5. Ben Wolf says:

    @A voice from another precinct

    Your argument is unsubstantiated contrarian nonsense, althoug you didn’t even make an actual argument.

    I’m sure Ghaddafi’s threat to expel U.S. oil companies had nothing at all to do with the current situation. I’m sure repeated complaints from those same companies that Libya was preventing them from fully exploiting its resources were just idle chatter at the water cooler.

    And I’m sure the heavy lobbying those same oil companies are conducting for involvment in post-Ghaddafi Libya is entirely unrelated.

    Without adequate supplies of oil the american economy dies. It is not possible to overstate our reliance on it, though the vast majority remain blissfully unaware of this fact. Libya is one of the last untapped sources of high quality crude on the planet.

    We’ve been fighting resource wars for the last decade. Get used to it.

  6. Impeach Tin Pot Obama!
    “High crimes and misdemeanors” against the constitution is a legal sword provided by the founders of this republic to oust the very corruption that Obama now so evidently and openly displays in his ongoing flaunting of the war powers act. There is only one remedy: impeachment!

  7. michael reynolds says:

    Ben:

    Oil is sold into a market. It’s not sold to a specific company, and there’s no way to control who buys the oil.

    There may be countries that want to be involved in the drilling, but that’s a relatively small business compared to the oil business overall. No one is going to war over an a drilling deal.

    If this were about oil the smarter move would have been to continue doing business with Gaddafi since this war has caused a disruption in supply.

    Our goal vis a vis oil, other resources, and the world in general, is that we represent stability. We are the pre-eminent status quo power. Obama made a judgment that stability was better served in the long run by eliminating or supporting the elimination of dictators where it seemed feasible — Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

    There is nothing new or Shakespearean or surprising going on here.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    Ben:

    Oil is sold into a market. It’s not sold to a specific company, and there’s no way to control who buys the oil.

    There may be countries that want to be involved in the drilling, but that’s a relatively small business compared to the oil business overall. No one is going to war over an a drilling deal.

    If this were about oil the smarter move would have been to continue doing business with Gaddafi since this war has caused a disruption in supply.

    Our goal vis a vis oil, other resources, and the world in general, is that we represent stability. We are the pre-eminent status quo power. Obama made a judgment that stability was better served in the long run by eliminating or supporting the elimination of dictators where it seemed feasible — Egypt, Tunisia, Libya.

    There is nothing new or Shakespearean or surprising going on here.

  9. My friend David High, Marine Iraq combat field-grade infantry officer with three years there and later, civilian service in sub-Sahara Africa, told me that Obama got rolled by the Europeans.

    “It’s their mess,” David said. “This is an after-affect of French and Italian colonialism. The Libya war is neo-colonialism by the Europeans. And the United States is like fraternity pledges that the brothers make mop up the frat house floor on Sunday morning after an all-night kegger that they didn’t attend.”

    And what is puzzling, if not actually astonishing, is that Barack Obama, who reputedly is of such deep anti-colonialism that he kicked Winston Churchill’s bust all the way from the Oval Office to London, fell for it.

    More at “There is No Plan .”

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Donald:

    Actually, if you read your own comment back you’ll see that your friend makes no sense.

  11. The Fury says:

    The only thing I’ve learned from 21st century politics is that the constitution no longer applies.

  12. Sam says:

    Uh… is anyone here aware that the US doesn’t have a single soldier on the ground in Libya?

    We are not “effectively making war on Libya”. We’re obviously not taking unilateral military action without Congressional approval. This is ridiculous.