Gates Warns of ‘Loose Talk’ About Attacking Libya

US Warships Near Libyan Coast as Tensions Rise

Though the protest movement that has ousted the Gadhafi regime from most of the nation appears to be in near unanimity in their opposition to a US attack, the idea continues to be a popular one in Congress, with a number of top officials eagerly advocating such a move.

Indeed, such endorsements of a US or NATO-led occupation are so common that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates today expressed concern during Congressional testimony over “loose talk” about the prospect of attacks or establishing a “no-fly zone.

Gates insisted that the talk of a no-fly zone missed the obvious consequence, that such a zone would require a military attack on Libya, aimed at destroying the nation’s air defense systems. Many of those systems are under the control of the protest movement in East Libya, surrounding the oil facilities to protest them from Gadhafi attacks.

Though other top US officials insist “no option” is off the table, the military’s ability to launch another massive occupation in Libya is very much in doubt, with a floundering occupation already in place in Afghanistan and US officials openly talking about extending the Iraq War beyond the end of the year.

At the same time, more US warships are nearing the Libyan coast, having passed through Suez, and the administration seems keen on having as much military force along the coast as possible.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.