Spencer Ackerman at Wired reports that we might just have troops on the ground in Libya in the near future:
During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island asked Adm. James Stavridis about NATO putting forces into “post-Gadhafi” Libya to make sure the country doesn’t fall apart. Stavridis said he “wouldn’t say NATO’s considering it yet.” But because of NATO’s history of putting peacekeepers in the Balkans — as pictured above — “the possibility of a stabilization regime exists.”
So welcome to a new possible “endgame” for Libya. Western troops patrolling Libya’s cities during a a shaky transition after Moammar Gadhafi’s regime has fallen, however that’s supposed to happen.
This doesn't really pose a problem, though, for President Obama's insistence that we won't send ground troops to Libya. Obama has proven perfectly willing to fight a war but not call it war, describe an occupation but call it an “Exit Strategy,” and generally use words in a way they've never been used before. There's nothing to keep him from sending in ground troops and calling them something else, like “advisors.”
Or, to put it the way Obama would put it: some would offer a false choice between keeping out ground troops and admitting we're sending in ground troops. Obama rejects that choice.