Pre-pitting a Libyan no-fly zone

This is my first pit thread, so it’s likely to be not angry enough.

I cannot believe that people in power (NATO, Congress, President) are seriously considering putting in place a no-fly zone over Libya! Hey, Democrats – remember Iraq? Do you want to have one of those on your head? Hey, Republicans – I thought we were broke! If we have enough money to start up a third war, we should be able to take some of the small change left over to fund childhood food programs here in the US, right?

Any issue that unites Ross Douthat and Maureen Dowd in opposition to it must be a pretty bad idea.

I tend to vote for Democrats, but if Obama goes for this, I promise I will vote for the most viable third party available in my state, or I won’t vote for the president at all. I don’t care how close the election is – adding a completely unnecessary war to defending indefinite detention would convince me that both sides really are the same.

If Crab-daffy is really that awful, let someone else overthrow him. Germany? France? England? You’re all a lot closer and any spillover will effect you more than the US. Saudi Arabia? I’m looking at you. Let someone else take the heat for meddling in Middle Eastern affairs.

We should cut defense spending by two thirds so we don’t even think about these stupid overseas adventures any more.

The no-fly zones worked in Iraq. Perhaps that’s what they remember.
It’s one of the reasons that war was never necessary: they solved the problem they were meant to solve. I don’t know if they would work in Libya. If you’re saying there would have to be an invasion before no-fly zones were set up, that’d be another thing - although I am guessing NATO and others do not think that would be necessary. I do have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen if Gadhaffi wins, and I bet you do, too.

In keeping with the ‘democracy is important overseas but not so much over here’ policy… :wink:

:rolleyes: I have not heard that the U.S. is considering doing this on its own. I have heard it’s being considered by NATO. I suppose if they were serious about it they would have already done it.

Is ignorance bliss? This would not be the US landing troops. The US has already made it clear, if they participate it would be only with air units. We would likely use a single carrier to support European and Arab efforts to enforce the no fly zone and do the initial work. This is basically a few sorties and maintaining a carrier in the Med, which we tend to do anyway.

If the no fly zone goes through, it is apparent that Egypt, France and the UK would be the probably major players and we would simply be assisting.

The Saudis are already doing their part to maintain stability in the region.

The aircraft carrier is already there. The added cost for Navy pilots to actually participate in the operation wouldn’t be much at all.

I agree, the American military budget is bloated and will have to be reduced–and blunders elsewhere have cost us not only blood and treasure but goodwill and political standing too. A gesture against Gaddafi now, however, offers a small redemption of past stupidities, not a compounding of the problem.

Yeah, sure. And, after we overthrow Gaddafi, it will be, well, you broke it, you bought it. We have to get troops in there or else the terrorists will move in. You wouldn’t want them to be able to set up bases there, would you? Why do you hate America?

Regarding NATO, does anyone have a source for who pays for what (in terms of money, equipment, and bodies) for NATO operations? I would be very surprised if the US were not the major source of all of that, but I’d be very happy to be proven wrong.

In any case, this is a purely internal affair in Libya. We’re only even contemplating military action because we can. We don’t establish no fly zones over China when they clamp down hard on their dissidents.

You know what I need like a hole in my head? Another reason for Islamic terrorists to resent and despise the US.

There are no US interests at stake that I can figure out. If there are, they are much smaller than the interests of other countries in the area.

The Arab league has asked for the No Fly Zone. You don’t seem to be following the story very well.

This would be a humanitarian effort, not a stupid adventure in Iraq. Also we would be but a supporting player. Much smarter to do it this way.

You underestimate the cost of dismantling the Libyan air defense–bombs and missiles are not cheap. You also underestimate the cost of plans/aircrew lost in action, and there may be some if Libya decides to resist.

I am confident that American technological and training superiority would win out quickly, as in past intersections of Libyan and American forces. Getting the fuck out of Iraq and Afghanistan will save the US far more, in all accounts, than anything we might actually do with Libya would cost. The military runs exercises that I expect cost about as much a supporting role in a Libyan intervention would.

That sounds like Obama alright. Or at least his mirror-universe equivalent.

That’s a good question, and unfortunately I can’t answer. I don’t know how this would be paid for.

I’ll go out on a limb and say NATO would not be considering this if it were impossible.
Did you stop and think through this criticism before you posted it? Yes, NATO would probably not be contemplating this if it were impossible. It also would not happen if there weren’t an uprising trying to get rid of Gadhaffi.

Just when things were going so well. No, this is not like stationing soldiers in Saudi Arabia or making up a reason to invade Iraq.

There is absolutely no reason that the US has to be involved in this.

If the Italian Airforce cannot fly across the Med and neutralize the Libyan Airforce in less than a day, then they need to pack it in, sell off their planes and stop pretending to have an airforce.

Likewise the French, who are pushing hardest for it.

Some of the missiles used, BTW, would almost certainly be from a Joint Munitions plant in my region, where some people I know work. I do have some idea how much shooting exercises and operations cost.

We might lose one or two aircraft, at most. Since the start of the second Gulf War we haven’t lost any fighter aircraft to enemy action. The closest we got was an F-16 which crashed during a strafing run (which obviously isn’t something we’d be doing in Libya).

Funny, I keep hearing all this talk about how the Europeans want the no-fly zone, or Obama wants the no-fly zone, but only one poster has mentioned that the Arab League has asked for it.

Arabs may impose Libya no-fly zone

Arab states seek Libya no-fly zone

The request for this has come from the other nations in the regions, to the UN, for assistance in protecting civilians from air attacks. This isn’t unilateral US action, nor is it something that Europe asked for or wanted.

Well, OK, I’m sure some Europeans and Americans may want it, but the point is, the MAIN request is from Libya’s neighbors and the Arab League.

And that is the main point.

There is no reason for the US to not support the effort. We just need to avoid spear heading it.

No they didn’t. The whole point of establishing a no-fly zone was to undercut Saddam’s air power and allow his opposition a fair shot at overthrowing him. He still managed to maintain control.

There’s nothing trivial about establishing a no-fly zone. To do that in Libya would amount to full US support of the rebels there, with all the consequences that entails, and would commit us to using force. .

I have often admired the propensity of some people and countries (principally the Chinese government) to be able to dismiss horrifying injustices, including widespread massacres of unarmed people, as being merely “the internal affairs” of another country.

Wait, did I say I admired it? I meant I was sickened by it.

They worked in the north, where the Kurds maintained a pretty high degree of autonomy throughout the 90s. Not so much in the south.

If that were the case, why were the no-fly zones not set up until after there was a failed uprising against Saddam - one which, predictably, he crushed? I thought the point was to stop him from projecting military force outside of a narrow central region of Iraq, protecting the people in the north and south of the country his neighbors.

No, the point was to protect the Kurds and Shi’ites, which is why the no-fly zones were limited to the areas above the 36th parallel and below the 32nd.