The recent passing of Momar Kadafi, Osama Bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, and others all within a few weeks of one another brings up the question. Does America need to rethink the way it does war?
The Libyan conflict though far from over for the people of Libya, because rebuilding of the new face of Libya is yet to do, nevertheless the overthrowing of the old regime took less than a year with zero American casualties and within a limited budget possibly more than any other conflict America has been in for decades. Although President Obama’s tactics were controversial, it brings to mind the question should America rethink the way it does war. This Libyan conflict was quick, efficient, with what seems to be a good outcome. The people of Libya are able to have their infant Democracy, they see America as helping them during their time of need, and America was not committed to an expensive, drawn-out war, which frankly, is not something the American people are interested in doing anymore if avoidable.
The way that warfare changed during the American Revolution, when the patriots of the day developed a guerilla style of warfare, as opposed to the large and cumbersome traditional style of the British Army, was the reason the Americans found success on the battlefield. This rethinking needs to occur again, considering the way we declare war or are able to commit to the types of maneuvers done in the Middle East and Pakistan as of late. Much like the old British tradition of warfare, the Congressional process involved in military procedure is sluggish and cumbersome. There is a wise reason for it to be that way, of course. To make the process too easy could lead to abuse of power.
Unleashing our military on another nation must be a well thought out procedure, giving room for discussion and debate. Still, I have a problem with too much politics in military maneuvers, especially when politicians place hyper-partisanship above people’s lives, when they are clearly obstructionist as the current Congress has proven itself to be repeatedly since the 2010 mid-term Election. Swift action saves lives.
Do we trust the person in charge to make these decisions? Obama seems to have done well balancing out the issues and taking appropriate action. However, making a policy, possibly a change to the Constitution, means that no matter whom our President is, which is hard to predict, if he/she given that power and how can we know for sure that it will be utilized wisely? We don’t. There in lies the quandary.
It appears as though this process of approving limited military action demands reform to fit modern day terrorist warfare. Some leeway needs to be given to the person in charge, and just like Americans take seriously who we place behind “the button” giving permission to use our nuclear arsenal and knowing the full ramifications of that action. There must be some trust given to the Commander in Chief, with strict and immediate consequences and action plan given should a President decide to “go rouge” and misuse the power given.
We live in modern times. It is time that our military policy properly reflects this new way of doing war, with proper checks-and-balances in place to so that America is able to swiftly and effectively defend herself and yet does not become that which we despise in the name of protecting Freedom.