Gates: No US Ground Troops in Libya ‘as Long as I’m In This Job’

Claims of 'Scaling Back' Refuted as Mullen Confirms Weather Prevented Attacks

Speaking on Thursday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made the seemingly dramatic statement that the US will not be sending group troops to Libya “as long as I’m in this job” while speaking to the House Armed Services Committee.

Which becomes far less significant when one remembers that Secretary Gates has promised to step down from that job at some point this year. Of course US ground troops have already entered Libya, but presumably he was referring to a full ground invasion.

Gates’ testimony also contained other misleading statements, notably the claim that the US is “scaling back” its attacks inside Libya, citing the reduced number of strikes in the country over the past few days.

Which Admiral Michael Mullen was explaining Thursday as well, testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committtee. According to Mullen, the reduction in strikes is entirely a function of the inclement weather making it difficult for the coalition to launch air strikes against Libya. It seems that when the clouds lift, Gates will need to revise his testimony.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.