US Announces ‘Support Role’ as NATO Leads Libyan War

Gunships 'On Standby' and Tomahawk Strikes to End

The Obama Administration is insisting today that it is moving toward a ‘support role’ in the Libyan War, not long after NATO assumed formal command of the conflict. The pledge comes as Congressmen are expressing increasing disquiet about the war.

Officials say they are moving warships and warplanes to “standby” mode, and will soon pull the Tomahawk missiles entirely out of the conflict. The standdown will take effect as of Sunday.

The idea appears to be leaving the French and British carrying much of the combat load, and to try to put as much public distance as possible between the NATO-led, nominally UN mandated war and the US.

Which of course, ignores that US dominance of both NATO and the UN Security Council. There is likely some political value in the pretense of the US “supporting” an international war in Libya instead of leading an unpopular war that was started largely at the Obama Administration’s behest, but the reality is that no matter who is dropping the bombs, it is America’s war, and US officials will be calling the shots.

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.