March 2, 2011
The Pentagon, the administration and the mainstream press pundits are sending the wrong signal by emphasizing how hard it would be for the US to enforce a “no-fly” zone in Libya. "It consists of much more modern surface-to-air missiles," said Lt. Gen. David Deptula, as quoted in the Washington Post.
The real point is that an extended battle between Qadaffi and the liberation forces risks total chaos along the lines of Somalia, or the rise of a radical anti-Qadaffi group hostile to our interests. Conversely, the great advantage of a no-fly zone is the psychological effect upon the Qadaffi forces. It unsettles Qadaffi’s already-scrambled mind when a US Navy F-18 hurtles by a few hundred feet off the ground. The administration should be preparing the groundwork for imposing restrictions and the application of aerial force against Qadaffi, as we did against Kosovo.