Mullen Warns of Libya Stalemate

With No Real Goals Defined, US Stares Down Another Open-Ended War

US officials Sunday repeatedly insisted that regime change is not the “immediate goal” of the new war against Libya. Exactly what the goal is, however, remains totally undefined, with lobbing large numbers of missiles seemingly an end unto itself.

And even though the war was only about a day long at the time, Admiral Michael Mullen warned early Sunday that a war could rapidly devolve into a stalemate, leaving Moammar Gadhafi in power in West Libya over the long term.

It is incredible how quickly the war is moving toward a fast-forward version of a typical modern US conflict. Saturday evening saw a “shock and awe” campaign, and within hours officials were already expressing concern about a quagmire.

And predictably, the pundits are already calling for a major escalation, with a ground invasion of Libya being sold as an exit strategy for a conflict America has barely entered. With growing international concern about the air strike and allies like the Arab League already jumping ship on the mission, an invasion is likely to be even more controversial.

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.