Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had this to say in a recent article by the Daily Mail:
‘If we start adding additional objectives then I think we create a problem in that respect,’ he said. ‘I also think it is unwise to set as specific goals things that you may or may not be able to achieve.’
The first sentence is completely understandable, as analysts from all walks of life have raised concerns over the possibility of “mission creep,” or what is considered an “expansion of a project beyond its original goals.” The Obama administration has looked to avoid that by failing to establish any goals, whatsoever. Well that was easily handled.
The second sentence is a bit more perplexing (and vexing to anyone with common sense). It is unwise to set as specific goals things that you may or may not be able to achieve. I am fairly certain that Secretary Gates just used the definition of a goal as his reason why he does not want to set goals. You are not sure if you will or will not achieve a goal, but it is a goal, something to strive for… that’s what makes it a goal! (Take soccer as a prime example: you can watch soccer for 90+ minutes and never see a damn goal, but they still have those goals there to try for.)
My friend (I am not sure if she wants to be mentioned in a conservative blog or not) told me that someone on NPR said ambiguity was the best policy for the Libyan strike, so as not to mislead the public. The military has to have goals, because without goals you cannot develop and change war plans or strategy.
President Obama has issued orders to allow the United States military to strike Lybian integrated air-defense systems while the French launched their own air-strikes earlier in the day. The Pentagon is briefing the media now. We will update here at TheLobbyist accordingly… stay tuned…
The Pentagon says that the point of the strikes with both older Tomahawk Cruise missiles and the newer-generation Tomahawks which have the ability to “loiter” in a given area while commanders decide on a target via internal cameras, was to create an atmosphere to establish a no-fly zone over the city of Benghazi to support of the Lybian rebels under assault from Qhaddafi’s forces.
The American Tomahawks were launched after the French launched their air-strikes against Qhaddafi’s forces earlier Saturday morning. The United States does NOT have troops on the ground guiding missiles, and the US does NOT have planes in the air enforcing a no-fly zone at this time.
Reperesentative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced via Twitter:
@jasoninthehouseJason Chaffetz I disagree with the use of US force in Libya.
@jaketapper Jake Tapper 112 Tomahawks launched from mix of US subs and surface ships + 1 UK sub. Over 20 Libyan air defense targets.