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  • Defining American Victory in Libya

    Posted by Trent Telenko on March 22nd, 2011 (All posts by )

    This is how I see America’s definition of victory in the current Libyan War:

    Total American Victory

    1) Qadaffi dead or fled and,
    2) A stable successor state that is not a terrorist haven, and,
    3) A democracy.

    American Victory

    1) Qadaffi dead or fled and,
    2) A stable successor state that is not a terrorist haven.

    Marginal American Victory

    1) Qadaffi dead or fled and
    2) Unstable state run by junta or autocrat, very anti-Israel to maintain power, hostile to Al-Qaeda.

    Marginal American Defeat

    1) Qadaffi dead or fled and
    2) Unstable state run by junta or autocrat, very anti-Israel to maintain power, neutral to supportive of Al-Qaeda.

    American Defeat

    1) Qadaffi dead or fled and
    2) Iranian aligned, Al-Qaeda terrorist supporting state.

    Total American Defeat

    1) Qadaffi survives in power, or

    Special Victory Conditions:

    1) America suffers total defeat if we get a 9/11/2001 class terrorist attack connected to the Libyan fighting, regardless of any other outcome.

    2) Drop our victory level by one level for every successful, less than 9/11/2001 class, domestic terrorist attack linked to foreign terrorists during Libyan fighting.

    3) Drop victory level by two levels if the victory requires extended commitment of a division plus (20,000) of American troops for more than a year.

    This is what comes of President Obama channeling Theodore Roosevelt:

    America wants Perdicaris alive, or Raisuli dead!

     

    16 Responses to “Defining American Victory in Libya”

    1. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Total victory if it results in regime change in Washington.

    2. FenDweller Says:

      Pedicaris alive, or Raisuli dead!.

    3. Trent telenko Says:

      Obama seems to have at least grasped what total defeat for America in Libya is:

      CBS News:

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20045543-503544.html

      “I have . . . stated that it is U.S. policy that Qaddafi needs to go,” President Obama said in a press conference from Santiago, Chile.

    4. Trent telenko Says:

      Max Boot is taking about “our objectives” in Libya, but he still won’t use the “V-word.”

      See:

      http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/03/21/defining-our-objectives-in-libya/

    5. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Tom Holsinger: +1

    6. Steve Y. Says:

      Another dimension–and this will give fodder to those who like to use “imperialism” in their everyday speech–is what happens with Libyan oil. The consensus view is that, whoever wins, they’ll want to keep the oil flowing. However, that blessed outcome is far from assured, and you’ve got to take away points if lasting damage happens to the facilities.

    7. wws Says:

      It seems pretty obvious that if no one is willing to even use the word “victory” then the chances of achieving it are somewhere between Slim and None.

    8. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      This is a far more comprehensive review of the possible outcomes than I expect has been done by anyone connected with the US government. And I agree with Mr. Holsinger’s addendum.

      I would add somethings, however. It is known that Khaddafi has a fairly major stockpile of poison gas. Mustard gas is known, other agents suspected. If we somehow do not either get control of, or do not destroy that stockpile; we will encounter it again later.

      And I would add to the committing of a divisional level force, its naval equivalent; the necessity of maintaining a CVBG commitment in the area. Our carriers are over-committed already, and we are going to have fewer of them as they are slowing the rate of construction of replacements for our older ones.

      Subotai Bahadur

    9. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Wws,

      Dumping Gadaffi is easy. How fast it happens depends on President Obama making decisions, but Gadaffi is history if we block his oil exports. AFAIK, those have stopped from ports he controls.

      It would go faster if we went after Gadaffi’s accounts overseas, and still faster if we do even minimal bombing. Provided of course, that Obama doesn’t impose Clintonian rules of engagement (can’t let anyone be hurt, etc.).

    10. tyouth Says:

      It’s not clear to how this:

      “Marginal American Victory
      1) Qadaffi dead or fled and
      2) Unstable state run by junta or autocrat, very anti-Israel to maintain power, hostile to Al-Qaeda.”

      can be a marginal victory when one thinks about the moneies (billions, apparently) spent and manpower wasted (not to mention possible casualties). The above (point “2)” ) describes the the country as was before allied actions and how it would be again without allied actions (as Qudaffi would have easily win). That outcome is clearly not a victory of any kind but is wasted effort for what is, for all practical purposes, the status quo in Libya.

    11. tyouth Says:

      (sorry about not proofing my above comment)

      Also Trent, you’ve emphasized the death of Quadaffi as a major indicator of victory. I don’t believe that the life, death, or personal position of Quadaffi is very important in defining victory. If we really needed him dead, sometime in the last couple of decades, he’d be dead. Hard to see why we particularly need him dead or alive at this particular time except he is somewhat of a known quantity. That may be reason enough to keep him alive.

      Civil wars are notoriously brutal and if we or others encouraged the rebels and didn’t follow through with aid promised shame on us or them. With respect to “killing civilians”, it’s hard for me to fault the snake for being a snake…it’s a bloody game that the rebels entered.

      The westerners aren’t/weren’t going to be able to define what would follows Q. in Libya if he lost. It probably would be a worse for us if he lost.

    12. Trent telenko Says:

      tyouth said:

      >That outcome is clearly not a victory of any kind but is wasted effort for
      >what is, for all practical purposes, the status quo in Libya.

      The number one goal of American national security policy is preservation of American ordered liberty at home.

      Preventing Foreign Terrorist attacks inside the American homeland is the leading way of accom-lishing that and it starts with denying al-Qaeda or similar such organizations secure bases of operations.

      That is why those terms are scored a “Marginal American Victory”.

      YMMV.

      >Also Trent, you’ve emphasized the death of Quadaffi as a major indicator
      >of victory. I don’t believe that the life, death, or personal position of
      >Quadaffi is very important in defining victory.

      Out of power is the key factor.

      His death is optional from the American foreign policy perspective and that depends strictly on how much Quadaffi plays “Apres Moi, le deluge” games.

    13. tehag Says:

      Victory Conditions in Libya:

      Ghadaffy dead and a Franco-Italian condominium governs Libya.
      Biden impeached.
      Obama impeached.
      Clinton disgraced.

    14. tyouth Says:

      Trent said “The number one goal of American national security policy is preservation of American ordered liberty at home.”

      I agree but what makes you think that Q. was potentially about to become a real security threat to the U.S. (or for that matter, to any ally)?. By all means, if some attack had been carried out or even planned, bomb away. But we’re talking pre-Tripoli-bombing here. I don’t think he was about to commit an atrocity in the west because he’d get what he’s getting now only more so. Now his thinking may have changed of course. We lose on this account (security), and, again, we lose on our expenditures with only negative outcomes to show for our effort.

      I do think that the chances of a better-than-Q. regime following him are much less than 50,50.

    15. Dr. Weevil Says:

      Comment #2 seems designed to delight the small percentage of Latinists who read this blog. The man’s name was Perdicaris, as in the original post, a name which may have something to do with partridges (Latin perdix, plural perdices). Pedicaris is Latin for “you’re screwed”. More precisely, it’s the 2nd person singular, present indicative passive of pedicare, ‘to bugger’, so it means “you [singular] are being buggered”. A good one-word summing-up of what we are saying (or trying to say) to Gaddafi right now?

    16. Bigol Says:

      I expect this to be the result unless Obama decides to lead:
      http://herbegerenews.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/libya-mission-accomplished/