Libya, The Rolling Stone, and the War in Afghanistan

So much happening in the world, of the grim variety these days.  I have  a lot of links saved from several weeks ago, when the Libya Crisis was just starting–needless to say, most of these are irrelevant now. However the NYT’s Middle East page, with updates organized by country, is still quite useful, I think.

The lastest headlines are saying that no one has a clear idea regarding how/when/where to exfiltrate themselves from the situation, which is not surprising, I guess. I’ve heard and read some criticism of the President’s low-key approach to this new war, but honestly, these problems aren’t going to be gone in a day, week, or month, so some deliberation is a good thing, no? Especially many other states have a strong interest in what happens in Libya, and must be expected to have their own objectives. And especially before committing American troops to another potentially long drawn-out war and occupation.  And I’m not convinced, from the little I’ve read, that there is such a great sense of “nation-state loyalty”, if you want to call it that, within the country anyway, which hardly makes the rebels a sure bet for a peaceful, oil-producing state (which is the outside world’s objective, let’s be honest).  I’m sure we’ll see.  London papers have been following the action with gusto, one headline reading the other day something like “We own Libya’s Skies.”  That was the Metro, I think.

In other news: this seems to have gone away, but a few weeks ago..well, maybe a month ago, there was a some flap regarding Lt. General Caldwell and his supposed use of psychological warfare assets on US senators (in order to better persuade them that the Afghan training programs are going well.  The article that touched it off was written by the same Michael Hastings who did the story on  General  McChrystal a while back. I’m not sure what the upshot of this new affair was, though Hastings has suffered a round of criticism for his journalism.  The Small Wars Journal Blog has good and fairly detailed coverage and discussion of the incident, though I haven’t checked for recent updates.  Thomas Ricks has a good article and discussion as well. Worth browsing, at least for a bit. Any updates would be appreciated…  In similar Afghanistan news from late February/early March, there was an interesting article about re-strategizing the campaign, and how that means pulling back from ground hard-won in the Pech Valley.

Anyway, time to run…Today’s agenda includes Omaha Beach, the cemetery, and several museums.  Stay well, do good work, and keep in touch. Another post arrives this evening.