Bryan Preston at the Pajamas Tatler has a good catch from an interview Obama did while he was in El Salvador. Addressing the international character of the operations in Libya, the president said this:
And that’s why building this international coalition has been so important because it means that the United States is not bearing all the cost. It means that we have confidence that we are not going in alone, and it is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally. And we will accomplish that in a relatively short period of time. (Emphasis Preston’s)
When you think about it, “kinetic military action” probably is the kind of miscellany a military can be volunteered for by others. Presumably the U.S. armed forces got the most votes in the Military Idol competition. At least they won’t be voted off the island.
Obama’s string of preposterous miscues with the Libya operation sends a different signal from his strategic collapse on missile defense in Europe or his counterproductive inaction on Iran. In the case of Libya, he’s not shying away from confrontation; he’s deploying force and causing it to go “kinetic.” If he genuinely sees himself as presiding over a military that can be volunteered into combat by others, there is more danger here than we thought.