Obama Pressed to Clarify Exit Plan in Libya War

NATO Plans for Three Months - Then What?

There is already considerable opposition to the Obama Administration’s war in Libya, fueled mainly by his lack of goals and the complete lack of debate before the war began. With the first week of conflict coming to an end, President Obama is now under pressure to define the exit plan.

NATO, which has assumed leadership of the campaign as of Friday, says they are planning for a 90 day mission. What comes after that is anyone’s guess, and the administration hasn’t been clear at all on what it intends will happen.

Indeed, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates insisted earlier in the week that there is no time limit for the war. British Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey said there is no exit strategy in place. The 90 day mission, in this context, seems extremely over-optimistic.

Rather the administration appears to have designs on keeping the no-fly zone in place more or less permanently, in the same style of the Iraq no-fly zone before the 2003 invasion. In Libya, as well, the closest thing the administration has to an end-game plan seems to be permanent escalation until the situation magically resolves itself.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.