No-Fly Zone a No-Brainer in Libya

'This is a pretty easy problem,' Air Force general opines
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2011 12:43 PM CST
Libya No-Fly Zone a No-Brainer
Sympathizers of Libyan rebel fighters flee after a fighter jet of Moamer Kadhafi's loyalist airforce dropped a bomb nearby in the north-central key Libyan oil town of Ras Lanuf, March 10, 2011.   (Getty Images/AFP)

The US seems to be wringing its hands over whether to impose a no-fly zone over Libya—but Gen. Merrill McPeak has no idea why. “This is a pretty easy problem, for crying out loud,” the former Air Force chief of staff tells New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. “If we can’t impose a no-fly zone over a not even third-rate military power like Libya, then we ought to take a hell of a lot of our military budget and spend it on something usable.”

“I can’t imagine an easier military problem,” McPeak continues. “Just flying a few jets across the top of the friendlies would probably be enough to ground the Libyan Air Force.” This isn’t like Iraq, Kristof argues. It’s a limited action executed at the behest of Libyan rebel forces. Sure, getting involved at all inevitably carries some risk, “and, frankly, it’s a good thing when a president counts to 10 before taking military action,” Kristof says. “But I hope that President Obama isn’t counting to a googolplex.” Click for another example of McPeak speaking out. (More Libya stories.)

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