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Ear to the Ground

With Libya, Sec. Gates Puts His Foot Down

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Posted on Mar 31, 2011
DOD / Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

There’s a lot of talk coming out of Washington, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates assured Congress on Thursday that the Pentagon’s mission in Libya is “much more limited” than regime change and said American troops would not be sent to the country, even in a training capacity, “as long as I’m in this job.”  —PZS

The Christian Science Monitor:

The US military will not provide any troops on the ground in Libya, either to aid operations or to train the rebels, Secretary Gates assured lawmakers. “Not as long as I’m in this job.”

That said, he conceded that rebels could use some help if they hope to overthrow Col. Qaddafi. “What the opposition needs is some training, some command and control, and some organization,” Gates said. “It’s pretty much a pickup ballgame at this point.”

But that training will not come from US troops, Gates stressed repeatedly in his testimony before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. NATO allies could take this role, he suggested. “Frankly, there are many countries that can do that,” he said.

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By John Poole, April 1, 2011 at 10:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think the no fly “thingie” has moved from protecting the threatened civilians in
Benghazi to protecting the oil fields in eastern Libya. The debate about whether
to arm the so called rebels is only to figure out what they might need to be an
effective security guard force to protect the oil fields. The plan all along was to
take possession of the oil fields. This empire does indeed have “humanitarian”
impulses but only for the global plutocracy which has become accustomed to
having the fossil fuel resources to keep their hot tubs very comfy.
  By the way I was in Libya last summer. My son was the ARSO at the American
embassy in Tripoli. He and his wife are back safe in DC thankfully. It was one
strange experience.

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By SarcastiCanuck, April 1, 2011 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr.Gates said “Libya is “much more limited” than regime change and said American troops would not be sent to the country, even in a training capacity, “as long as I’m in this job.” 
  Now correct me if I’m wrong,but didn’t he announce just recently that he is leaving his job soon????I guess we’ll see troops in Libya and Gates on Dancing with the Stars…

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getreal1's avatar

By getreal1, April 1, 2011 at 12:56 am Link to this comment

The rebels, whoever they are, have done just fine without training. All they need is the continued air support of the coalition forces. The Libyan army cannot resupply itself and will eventually run out of munitions and be forced to decide that it’s not worth giving up their lives for a thuggish dictator. It’s their civil war.

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By glider, April 1, 2011 at 12:55 am Link to this comment

Semantic games.  The specification here is “troops”, as in we have pulled our “combat troops” out of Iraq.  “Troops” are so yesterday, Gates is a Republican and is into the privatization of our wars.  Follow his future career in the field.

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By Steve E, March 31, 2011 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

I guess your on the way out the door Robert, leave your resignation with the
secretary. I don’t see Britain or Italy doing any training in the near future.

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