More smart power in action! First, it’s quite evident any military action preceding the election can be regarded only as a desperate ploy to boost Obama’s fading hopes. Second, it won’t gain much if we have no idea who we’re going after.
The White House, under political pressure to respond forcefully to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, is readying strike forces and drones but first has to find a target.
And if the administration does find a target, officials say it still has to weigh whether the short-term payoff of exacting retribution on al-Qaida is worth the risk that such strikes could elevate the group’s profile in the region, alienate governments the U.S. needs to fight the group in the future and do little to slow the growing terror threat in North Africa.
Details on the administration’s position and on its search for a possible target were provided by three current and one former administration official, as well as an analyst who was approached by the White House for help. All four spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the high-level debates publicly.
In another effort to bolster Libyan security, the Pentagon and State Department have been developing a plan to train and equip a special operations force in Libya, according to a senior defense official.
Yeah, good luck with that. But read further and you realize this is merely smoke, mirrors and more than enough empty bluster.
The Libyan government is so wary of the U.S. investigation expanding into unilateral action that it refused requests to arm the drones now being flown over Libya. Libyan officials have complained publicly that they were unaware of how large the U.S. intelligence presence was in Benghazi until a couple of dozen U.S. officials showed up at the airport after the attack, waiting to be evacuated – roughly twice the number of U.S. staff the Libyans thought were there. A number of those waiting to be evacuated worked for U.S. intelligence, according to two American officials.
How far American prestige has fallen when a shaky fledgling government won’t even grant us the ability to arm our drones.