Skip to comments.Obama authorizes drone strikes in Libya
Posted on 04/21/2011 1:40:39 PM PDT by jazusamo
President Obama has authorized the use of aerial drone strikes in Libya to aid rebels fighting to oust dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday.
Gates stressed that even though the United States will begin using the armed Predator drones in Libya, American soldiers will not be deployed to the country. He said the Libyan people will have to remove Gadhafi themselves, though the U.S. "can provide them with some cover from the air."
The announcement falls in line with the Obama administration's pledge to not put American boots on the ground to remove Gadhafi from power. Obama has called for Gadhafi to step down, and authorized military strikes to enforce a no-fly zone but has repeatedly said that the U.S. would not deploy ground forces to topple the regime.
After the United Nations passed a Security Council resolution approving a multinational no-fly zone over Libya in March, the United States briefly took the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone before NATO assumed command.
Gates said that as of Thursday the U.S. had two armed predator drones flying on missions in Libya.
"They are uniquely suited for areas urban areas where you can get low collateral damage, and so we're trying to manage that collateral damage, obviously, but that's the best platform to do that with," Gates said. "They're out there for a full day working the targets."
The announcement by Gates comes a day after other nations in the multinational effort to remove Gadhafi from power announced that they were sending military advisers to help the rebels. On Wednesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa announced that their respective nations were joining Britain in sending military advisers to help the rebels.
Gates said the U.S. will not be following in their footsteps.
"They're not our boots on the ground," Gates said. "We never made that commitment for anyone else."
Last updated at 4:13 p.m.
I thought this thing would be over in days not weeks or months.
It’d be nice to have an adult for a CINC.
Just curious when are we going to get a report on who these rebel fellas are?
Me too and I doubt it’ll be anytime soon. I firmly believe Obama was informed of it before he committed and just ignored it.
I eagerly await a renegade command group to deliver a few dozen hellfires via drone in the general DC area.
He's quite the button pusher.
US Ground troops will be in Libya en masse by the end of May. Count on it.
DAYS NOT WEEKS .......... and only NO FLY ENFORCEMENT
Yep. That MEU ain't steaming around off the coast for recreational purposes, that's for damned sure.
Yep, we committed ourselves when the first missile was launched.
I wonder, has kadaffy authorized drones (or their equivalent) in Wash DC???
“Mission Creep”..................sounds like ‘Nam.
How about a couple MOABS? If I remember correctly those things only cost us $50K each. Good deal.
Illegal War. Impeach NOW.
I’ve no doubt you’re right, if not by then shortly after.
So flying drones will enforce the UN’s no-fly-zones by shooting ground troops so other troops can kill Libyan soldiers.
I’m surprised Gadaffy hasn’t gone directly after the Brown Clown! He has the $$$$.Obummer targeted him, SOOOOOOO?