Dueling analyses over Libya’s future?
The Director of National Intelligence dropped a bomb – metaphorically — in the Senate on Thursday when he testified that Libyan rebels are not likely to oust Muammar Gaddafi and predicted that eventually “the regime will prevail.”
James Clapper’s jaw-dropping prediction, as Washington, NATO and the United Nations search for a way forward and Libya lurches toward civil war, prompted Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to call for his dismissal.
And it prompted some flame-throwing from the White House.
Tom Donilon, Obama’s National Security Advisor, said Obama is happy with Clapper’s performance, but he had tough words for Clapper’s analysis.
“If you did a static and one-dimensional assessment of just looking at order of battle and mercenaries, you can come to various conclusions about the various advantages that the Gaddafi regime and the opposition have,” Donilon told reporters on a conference call.
“But our view is, my view is — as the person who looks at this quite closely every day and advises the president — is that things in the Middle East right now and things in Libya in particular right now need to be looked at not through a static, but a dynamic, and not through a unidimensional, but a multidimensional, lens.”
Donilon said a “static, unidimensional analysis” does not take into account factors such as steps that can be taken in cooperation with the Libyan oppostion, the mood in the region and Gaddafi’s isolation.
Photo Credits: REUTERS/Jason Reed (Clapper); REUTERS/Pete Souza/White House handout (Donilon, r, Clapper in Oval Office with Obama)