NATO's lead in Libya sends a message
Having NATO in command of military operations to lean on Libya's Moammar Gadhafi sends the right message about the unity of purpose to move him aside.
ANYONE with a longshot pick in the NCAA basketball tournament has to take heart from NATO assuming command of military operations in Libya. Improbable things do happen.
So what if NATO waited until Moammar Gadhafi's air force was nullified by U.S. cruise missiles? The French and British and others are stepping forward, allowing the U.S. to step back. Savor the moment.
Groundwork for NATO unity and action was laid with a unanimous U.N. Security Council vote March 17 to establish a no-fly zone over Libyan territory, stop supply ships at sea and call for a cease-fire. The council voted 10-0, with five abstentions.
Watching Russia and China abstain and not veto council action no doubt rocked Gadhafi as hard as the first airstrike.
The willingness of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to send planes to enforce the no-fly zone gives NATO even more political cover.
President Obama is confounding critics once again. They barely had time to get their lines down about Oval Office hand-wringing over a decision to act, before they had to retool their prose to complain about U.S. involvement. The adroit handoff to NATO will mean more head scratching for new spin.
Taking the U.S. out of the lead has been desirable from the beginning. Unique military skills and abilities will be in demand, but there is no reason U.S. forces have to be in harm's way in a new war zone or calling the shots.
NATO command of military operations speaks to a unity of purpose about removing Gadhafi. That message is as important as the multinational resources brought to bear.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.