Poor tactics, poor strategy: why this hawk is against Obama's war

I’m a defense hawk and proud of it. I can recite the major events of WW2 and the Civil War forwards and backwards. I believe in spreading democracy and I believe that our armed forces are a great force for good in today’s world. I cheered when we went into Afghanistan, and double cheered when we toppled Saddam.

But I can’t cheer for Libya. It’s a stupid move that Obama made while vacationing in Brazil after being pushed around by Hillary. Let’s compare:

Afghanistan 2001:

  • Objective: topple the Taliban and kick out Al Qaeda.
  • Situation: tribal society in civil war.
  • Tactics: embed Special Forces with the Northern Alliance to direct devastating air strikes.
  • Outcome: Northern Alliance captures Kabul within weeks.
Iraq 2003:
  • Objective: topple Saddam.
  • Situation: military dictatorship with a large, loyal army.
  • Tactics: prepare for months. Concentrate overwhelming military power. Shock and Awe!
  • Outcome: Baghdad falls within weeks.
Libya 2011:
  • Objective: topple Qaddafi. Oh no wait, protect civilians! Heck, let the French decide.
  • Situation: tribal society, dictatorship, civil war.
  • Tactics: destroy some of Qaddaffi’s hardware. Have Hillary beg his tribesmen to overthrow him.
  • Outcome (so far): Putin is laughing at us.
To top it off, Qaddafi was not even the worst dictator out there. The guy was even sucking up to us. He shipped away the last of his uranium a year and a half ago, and was turning over hundreds of Al Qaeda members. (Now in my book, that’s something to encourage!) And his opposition comes from East Libya, the region with the highest density of jihadis in the world (according to our statistics).
Now why couldn’t we support the peaceful protesters of Iran? Those are certainly agitating for democracy, not theocracy. Bonus points: stopping their ayatollahs from developing nuclear weapons. Or the peaceful protesters of Syria, where the Assad dynasty has been flipping us the bird for decades, exporting terrorism and developing WMDs?
Instead, our president has committed any and all available resources to supporting armed Islamist radicals against the one dictator who had voluntarily given up his WMDs. Fat chance of that happening again now! Expect the remaining Saddams of the world to redouble their WMD effort.
And that’s why this hawk can’t support Obama’s war. Hopefully, next year we’ll get a competent Commander In Chief, with some sense of when and where to commit our armed forces.