Eske Esquire wrote:
Err...are we technically "at war"? We Americans get a little tricksy with that word's definition.
Dropping bombs into, and shooting missiles at another country with the intention of blowing stuff up and killing people....Yeah. I'd pretty much define that as 'war'.
Why? What would you call it?
A "military action"? The problem is that there have been numerous historical precedents for the President to use military force in a short term and/or limited way without having to get Congressional approval before hand. These have usually been limited to small air strikes on terrorist camps, or to engage take quick action to protect interests and assets around the globe. This action pretty clearly went well beyond that, and frankly well beyond any previously accepted definition of a "no-fly zone".
I suspect that Obama is figuring out how hard it is to stand by his promise not to do anything unilaterally. The reality is that what the US, France, and UK are doing in Libya is the right thing to do (help the rebels defeat Khadaffi), but there's no way to get the UN to support that precise action. So instead of doing things unilaterally (or at least without UN approval), they got a resolution to do one thing (a no-fly zone), and are embarking on an entirely different military mission instead. I'm not sure if that's a better way to get around the UN's general opposition to any sort of firm "pick a side and win" approach to these sorts of situations.
I still maintain that had we (we being any combination of US, France, or UK) taken action 1.5-2 weeks ago, we probably could have allowed the rebels to win with just a no-fly approach *and* could have avoided the perception of overbearing western interference in this affair *and* avoided the inevitable second round of conflict that's going to happen as a result of that. All the rhetoric in the world about how this is the rebel's fight to win or lose doesn't change the fact that now that this level of involvement has been entered into, after having waited long enough for it to be clear that the rebels could not win without it, has erased any doubt that this result of this civil war will be entirely up to the actions of western powers.
IMO, that's going to cause us yet more problems down the line.