The United States may consider sending troops into Libya with a possible international ground force that could aid the rebels, according to the general who led the military mission until NATO took over.That would be the Commander of US African Command, Army General Carter Ham. He was speaking before a Congressional Committee.
Did anyone tell the President?
This does seem to be inching toward the criteria laid down by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, found here, and made available via The New York Times. I note that it is not searchable, at least on my web browser.
In the mean time, here is news on current US participation.
Ham said recent bad weather and threats from Qaddafi's mobile surface-to-air missile systems hampered efforts to use aircraft like the AC-130 and the A-10 to provide close air support for friendly ground forces. He says those conditions contributed to the stalemate.I wonder what he meant by mobile surface-to-air missile systems? Are these hand held or are they larger systems, systems that one might have expected to have been taken out by an organized SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) effort?
So far this reminds me of the story unwinding in the book I am currently reading, Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail. That war didn't end up so well, but it did end up with boots on the ground.
The assertions I see that because we are only now 15% of the effort and NATO is now in charge the effort is not doing well is just that, an assertion. I would like to see data before I make such a judgment.
Regards — Cliff