President Obama may be in hot water with lawmakers who think the U.S.-led military mission in Libya is a big mistake. But some GOP voices are calling for an escalation of U.S. involvement — or at least an expansion of U.S. goals.
Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, tells NBC’s Today show that the United States will face defeat in Libya if the current mission ends with Muammar Gaddafi still in power.
People might have a hard time arguing with that point.
But what would he do now, if he were president?
Gingrich’s answer sounds just like the message John McCain conveyed on the same TV show a day earlier, when he called for arming the Libyan rebels to ensure the end of Gaddafi’s 41-year rule.
“We should be very clear to the Libyans that Gaddafi is going to go,” Gingrich says. ”We should help equip the Libyan rebels.” Otherwise he’d let the Pentagon, the CIA, etc, determine what needs to be done “to win”.
But there may be problems with the arm-the-rebels idea. Reports from the field suggest the rag-tag Libyan rebel force wouldn’t be able to defeat Gaddafi in its present state. According to accounts, some rebels are so innocent of martial tactics that they may not even be sure which end of the gun goes ‘Bang!”