There are plenty of terrible regimes in this world - but we don't invade them.
We didn't invade libya - we provided air support to prevent gaddafi from attacking innocent civilians.
The U.S. military has spent about $1 billion so far and played a far larger role in Libya than it has acknowledged, quietly implementing an emerging "covert intervention" strategy that the Obama administration hopes will let America fight small wars with a barely detectable footprint.Any other myths that you want me to puncture?
Officially, President Obama handed the lead role of ousting Muammar Gaddafi to the European members of NATO. But behind the scenes, the U.S. military played an indispensable role in the Libya campaign, deploying far more forces than the administration chose to advertise.
According to two senior NATO officials, one American and the other European, these were the critical U.S. contributions during the six-month military campaign:
An international naval force gathered off Libya, with the dozen U.S. warships on station were the biggest contingent in this armada.
In the opening hours of the campaign, an American submarine, the USS Florida, launched 100 cruise missiles against Libyan air defenses, crucially opening an entry corridor for the airstrikes that followed.
U.S. tanker aircraft refueled European aircraft on the great majority of missions against Gaddafi's forces.
When the Europeans ran low on precision-attack munitions, the U.S. quietly resupplied them.
To target Gaddafi's military, NATO largely relied on U.S. JSTARS surveillance aircraft, which, flying offshore, could track the movements of rival forces.
U.S. Air Force targeting specialists were in NATO's Naples operational headquarters throughout the campaign.
U.S. AWACS aircraft, high over the Mediterranean, handled much of the battle-management task, acting as air-traffic controllers on most of the strike missions.
Eavesdropping by U.S. intelligence -- some by aircraft, some by a listening post quietly established just outside Libya -- gave NATO unparalleled knowledge of what Gaddafi's military planned.
The administration largely stuck to Obama's decision that the U.S. would not put boots on the ground in Libya (although the CIA did have agents inside Tripoli) but US, British and French special forces were on the ground, training and organizing the insurgents -- as were units from two Arab nations, Qatar and Jordan.
When a desperate Gaddafi began to launch Scud missiles into towns held by the opposition, a U.S. guided-missile destroyer offshore negated his offensive by shooting down the Scuds.
"President Obama may have taken the U.S. out of the direct combat role, but he certainly did not take American forces out of the front line," Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute think tank, wrote in a recent analysis. "The European allies were hardly going it alone' in this operation."