Back on March 22nd, the United States claimed it was passing control of combat operations to NATO. I discussed this in a previous blog which you can see here. Despite these claims it has been revealed in an interview with NBC News that US combat operations in Libya are ongoing. The Defense Department is trying to claim that its operations do not violate statements made by the president, but saying that dropping bombs isn’t dropping bombs is a hard line to back up.
Originally, the US had stated it would not conduct further airstrikes unless its NATO allies could no longer meet mission requirements. Consequently, there have been at least three US airstrikes in the past week. Despite the inability of NATO and its partners to conduct this mission without US control, France and Britain and calling for even more military action in Libya on behalf of NATO. What this translates to is a demand for the United States to shoulder even more of the burden in Libya under the guise of NATO action.
The Department of Defense refuses to release details on how much US involvement in Libya is costing, but these operations defy political demands for budget cuts and fiscal accountability. I guess restricting unnecessary defense spending doesn’t play into the United States practicing budget responsibility. Today, President Obama announced his plans for controlling the budget, but these plans do not call for cutting the defense budget back to at least 2001 levels. Not to attack Obama, the republicans plan as offered by Paul Ryan does nothing to address out of control defense spending either. So, with no end to out of control defense spending in sight, Operation Libya will only further burden the US taxpayer.
So, the US is slowly ramping up its third ongoing war while ignoring the most expensive element of non-discretionary budget spending. If both major parties refuse to handle out of control defense spending then we can’t balance federal spending. I’m curious what you all think about this so please add some comments, thoughts, or questions below.