Heute abend kommt Reuters mit einer Exklusivgeschichte: Die Regierung von US-Präsident Barack Obama habe schon seit ein paar Wochen grundsätzlich verdeckte Operationen zur Unterstützung der libyschen Rebellen gebilligt. Was das im Detail heisst, scheint nch nicht so ganz klar. Aber die Debatte über mögliche Waffenlieferungen an die Aufständischen in Libyen bekommt damit eine leicht andere Perspektive.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA, March 19, 2011: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn. This was one of approximately 110 cruise missiles fired from U.S. and British ships and submarines that targeted about 20 radar and anti-aircraft sites along Libya’s Mediterranean coast. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeramy Spivey)
Eine etwas veränderte Perspektive bekommt auch die gestrige Anhörung des US-Admirals – und NATO-Oberbefehlshabers! – James Stavridis vor dem Armed Services Committee des US-Senats (ich hatte gestern schon kurz darauf hingewiesen). Zur Dokumentation und zum Nachlesen Auszüge aus dieser Anhörung:
ADM. STAVRIDIS: In Libya, for example — and I think you mentioned in your opening statement — today there are roughly 40 ships operating in general support of that operation.
Only about 12 of those are U.S. ships. So that addition of resources I think is first and very primary.
Secondly, you get the exchange of ideas. When we have — both in Afghanistan and in Libya today,
where we have 28 NATO nations and Arab nations coming together, you have different views of
looking at things. And that can, at times, create friction. But I would argue over time it creates better
ideas, because no one of us is as smart as all of us, thinking and working together.
And then thirdly, I would say access. To do an operation like Libya or Afghanistan requires
overcoming the tyranny of distance and geography. And we do that best with allies, because not
everywhere is international airspace, and not everywhere are the high seas. So those would be three
things I would say off the top of my head.
SEN. LEVIN: Okay. Now, as to the decision-making process that lies ahead of us, what will happen
if Gadhafi’s forces appear to truly stop fighting? Who would make the decision as to whether or not
that was real and then what the response should be? Is that a military decision in the field? Is that a
political decision by NAC? Who makes that decision?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Sir, I think it would begin in the field with on-the-ground assessments. And of
course, as we can appreciate, in the last five weeks of this operation I’ve heard personally at least
five different ceasefires announced by Gadhafi’s forces, none of which have been true.
So it would have to begin with on-the-ground assessment. It would be backed up by higher-level
intelligence assessments. That data would then be flowed into the joint task force commander for
NATO, Canadian general — Lieutenant General Charlie Bouchard. He’s headquartered in Naples. It
would be assessed there in an operational context, moved up to my headquarters in Mons, Belgium,
where the SHAPE — Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe — would put a strategic view on
it. Chairman, it would then go to the NAC, the North Atlantic Council, to be evaluated for whether
there would be a shift in direction which would be given to us.
SEN. LEVIN: And if the evaluation was that it was a real stoppage of war by Gadhafi against his
own people, what’s the effect of that?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Well, I think there would be actually another level that this discussion would
have to go to, which would be the United Nations, since the authority for NATO to participate in this
operation is under the United Nations Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973.
But taking your hypothetical, if there was an assessment by NATO that this had changed conditions
on the ground, then I think there would be, depending on the situation, a probable pause in activity
while it was evaluated at a political level as to further steps.
SEN. LEVIN: In terms of arming the opposition forces, is there a consensus within NATO or the
North Atlantic Council as to whether to arm the opposition forces? And do you — have you made a
recommendation or have you received one from General Bouchard?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I have not made or received such a recommendation. Of course, we’re very
early days at this point.
SEN. LEVIN: And do you have any recommendation on that at this point?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I do not at this point.
SEN. LEVIN: Has NATO engaged with the Libyan opposition forces with a NATO representative?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: There is not a NATO representative on the ground in Libya at this time, to my
SEN. MCCAIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral, would you agree that, when the no-fly zone was implemented, Gadhafi was basically at the
suburbs or in the outskirts of the Benghazi and, as the president stated, there would have been a mass
massacre of very large proportions?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Yes, sir. I think everything about Colonel Gadhafi’s history would tell us that.
SEN. MCCAIN: Would you agree that three weeks earlier, if we had imposed a no-fly zone, that
when the momentum was on the side of the anti-Gadhafi forces, that it’s very likely that Gadhafi
would have fallen then?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I think it’s hard to say if Gadhafi would have fallen then or not.
SEN. MCCAIN: Isn’t it very clear that the use of air power and armor is what reversed the tide
against the anti-Gadhafi rebels?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Yes, sir.
SEN. MCCAIN: And so at least in the view of some of us, an opportunity was passed up by not
invoking a no-fly zone three weeks ago, which would have then prevented Gadhafi from using his
superior armor and air power to drive the rebels all the way back to Benghazi.
So there’s an upside and a downside to seeking coalitions. There’s an argument to it that you should
act in warfare when the opportunities present themselves. And you do agree that air power is
decisive in this conflict on the side of the anti-Gadhafi forces?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: It has been thus far.
SEN. MCCAIN: The U.N. resolution, as I understand it, says it would take — we should take all
necessary measures to prevent humanitarian disasters to befall the Libyan people — all necessary
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Yes, sir.
SEN. MCCAIN: And the Lieutenant (sic) Bouchard just said that the goals of the air campaign
remain the same, and I quote him, „to protect and help the civilians and population centers under the
threat of attack.“ You agree with that — General Bouchard’s statement?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Yes, sir.
SEN. MCCAIN: Does that mean that that protect and helping the civilian population centers goes all
the way to Tripoli?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I think, at any time, there is a threat to the population of Libya, we have
sufficient rules of engagement to strike against forces that are demonstrating hostile act or hostile
intent against —
SEN. MCCAIN: So there is hostile intent taking place in the city of Tripoli, wouldn’t you agree, and
suppression on anti-Gadhafi forces?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I think that any Gadhafi forces that are demonstrating hostile intent against the
Libyan population are legitimate targets.
SEN. MCCAIN: So basically what’s happening here is we’re saying that we won’t overthrow
Gadhafi by force, but in the interest of protecting and helping the civilian and population centers
under the threat of attack, we are moving rapidly to the west.
And the media is reporting correct that we’re employing AC-130s and A-10s to provide more
targeted close-end protection for civilians?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: That is correct, sir.
SEN. MCCAIN: So the only other question — I know this is a very tough one. But there are
persistent rumors that Gadhafi really has very few friends, and it’s likely that, at some point, he will
— that they will crack and he will either leave, be killed, whatever. Is that something that you think is
a pretty good possibility that may happen?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: As I look at the situation in Libya, Senator, you can see a wide range of
possibilities out ahead of us that run from a static stalemate to what you just described; Gadhafi
cracking. I think that, if we work all the elements of power, I think we have a chance at — a more
than reasonable chance of Gadhafi leaving because the entire international community has arrayed
against him. And I think the events today in London where 40 nations are gathered to discuss this
would lend weight to the theory that, as Secretary Gates said in testimony or on talk show, he
probably doesn’t need to being hanging any new pictures.
SEN. MCCAIN: And he clearly — we just want him gone, whether it be to live with Chavez or meet
Hitler and Stalin or be in a criminal court? Is that —
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I think that the international community, virtually every world leader, has
ascribed to a statement along the lines of Gadhafi should leave Libya.
SEN. MCCAIN: But a stalemate is not an acceptable solution. I think we learned that from the Iraq
experience after Desert Storm that sanctions and no-fly zones don’t succeed. Is that a lesson we
could draw from that experience?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I think a stalemate is not in anybody’s interest.
SEN. LIEBERMAN:Admiral Stavridis, let me just come back to where we are in Libya now, and the role of NATO. I
think your description of the kind of — the chart of line of authority was very helpful to people,
because as we say now that the U.S. is turning over authority to NATO, it’s very important for us to
understand what NATO is. I’m glad NATO is involved, of course. It both — because what’s
happening in Libya is not just a concern to America or a threat to America; it’s a concern to most of
the — the rest of the civilized world, and therefore it’s very important that NATO and our allies in the
Arab world be involved.
But it’s not — when the U.S. turns responsibility over to NATO, it’s not like we’re taking a hot potato
and throwing it to somebody else. We’re NATO. We’re not — we’re not all that is NATO, but we’re at
the heart of NATO. We’re most of NATO. We have great allies with us there.
Just to go over this quickly, three missions now moving to NATO control: The arms embargo — am I
correct that that is now being overseen by an Italian officer?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Yes, sir. Just to add what I said earlier, there’s an Italian three-star —
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Right.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: — in Naples who has command of the maritime piece of this.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: OK.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: And then there’s a Canadian three-star who is the Joint Task Force commander,
and the air piece of it will actually be run out of Turkey — out of Izmir, Turkey —
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Right.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: — by a NATO headquarters there, which has a U.S. three-star and a French
SEN. LIEBERMAN: OK.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: So you’ve really got Italian, French, Canadian, American all in the chain of
command. And just to put a metric on it, of the 40 flag and general officers that are involved in this whole
thing, only five of them will be American as we move forward. Yeah.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Right. Interesting. And the civilian protection mission, who is that under now?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: That’s under Lieutenant General Bouchard —
SEN. LIEBERMAN: The Canadian officer.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: — as the Joint Task Force commander —
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Got you.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: — executing through the other two officers I mentioned.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: And just let’s follow that chain up. Who do they report to?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: They report to the NATO Joint Force Commander, Naples, who is an
American four-star, Sam Lochlear, who was also the commander of the Joint Task Force Odyssey
Dawn, so — which was the Libyan operation. So there’s good continuity in that as he fits in both of
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Right. So we’ve got — right, we’ve got continuity, and another American
ADM. STAVRIDIS: We do.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: And then does he report directly to you?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: He does.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: OK. And obviously you’re a distinguished American Admiral and we’re proud
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Right.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: And thank you for your service. And then you report to the North Atlantic
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I do.
I would add that my report goes through a committee — a military committee headed by an Italian
four-star admiral, Admiral Di Paola, who is actually the senior officer in NATO.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Right.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: That committee takes my advice, puts a military eye on it. Admiral Mike
Mullen is the American member of that 28- person body. It’s all the chiefs of defense. We would say
all the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. And then — and then the advice goes to the North Atlantic
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Right. And am I right that the North Atlantic Council gives you, if I might put
it in these terms, general authority, but does not have to approve every mission that you carry out?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Yes.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: For instance, if Gadhafi’s forces are surrounding a town in Libya, you don’t
have to go back to the NAC to get approval —
ADM. STAVRIDIS: No.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: — in terms of protecting civilians —
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Correct.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: — to attack those — OK.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Yes, sir.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: I appreciate that.
So again, I make the point that having NATO involved is critically important for all the reasons the
president said last night, but it’s not like the U.S. is not involved. We’re very centrally involved, and
we should be.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Yes, sir. And again, that chain of command that I just described is not
dissimilar to the one that we use in Afghanistan —
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Exactly.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: — from a NATO perspective.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Right.
As you know, we have taken a very forward-leaning understanding of the part of the U.N. resolution
that talks about all necessary measures to protect the Libyan civilians. And again, I think that’s the
right thing to do. We’ve effectively, based on the U.N. mandate, prosecuted a campaign of airstrikes
against Gadhafi’s forces, which has not only protected civilians but also paved the way, as General
Carter Ham said yesterday I believe, for the rebels — they call them „freedom fighters“ in Libya — to
advance. I wanted to ask you whether you’re confident that NATO is united in its interpretation of
the civilian-protection mission going forward, so that there will not be a diminution of that mission
in the days and weeks ahead with NATO in control.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Sir, I am confident I have the rules of engagement that I need to continue the
campaign in the manner to which it’s been conducted.
SENATOR JAMES INHOFE (R-OK): I think most of the questions on Libya have been asked, and I suspected that would be the case, but
there’s one other one that is a little bit sensitive, I think, but somebody has to say it.
There have been several reports about the presence of al-Qaida among the rebels, among those with
whom we are associated. What is your thoughts about that?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Sir, as you can imagine, we’re examining very closely the content,
composition, the personalities, who are the leaders in these opposition forces. The intelligence that
I’m receiving at this point makes me feel that the leadership that I’m seeing are responsible men and
women who are struggling against Colonel Gadhafi.
We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al-Qaida, Hezbollah. We’ve seen different
things. But at this point, I don’t have detail sufficient to say that there’s a significant al-Qaida
presence or any other terrorist presence in and among these folks. We’ll continue to look at that very
closely. It’s part of doing due diligence as we move forward on any kind of relationship.
SEN. INHOFE: Yeah. I don’t say this critically of you, of course, because you didn’t make this
decision. But wouldn’t that have been a good idea to find out before we took some of the steps that
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Well, I think that, from the moment this crisis has unfolded, I think there has
been a great deal of intelligence applied to this. Although General Ham, as the AFRICOM
commander, would be in the best position to give you the detail on that.
SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): Admiral Stavridis, the president has quite rightly ruled out any ground forces entering Libya
from the United States, but at least looking ahead, there is a possibility that, through many possible
outcomes of the Gadhafi regime departing swiftly or the rebels ejecting it, that there would be a need
for some stabilization on the ground.
Is that something that NATO is considering?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Sir, I wouldn’t say NATO’s considering it yet but I think that when you look at
the history of NATO, having gone through this as many of this committee have with Bosnia and
Kosovo, it’s quite clear that the possibility of a stabilization regime exists. And so I have not heard
any discussion about it yet but I think that history is in everybody’s mind as we look at the events in
SEN. REED: Well, these events obviously are moving fast. So —
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I understand.
SEN. BROWN: Admiral, you know, I, like many others, have been wrestling with our involvement in Libya. On the
one hand, I understand the need to protect innocent civilians. And you kind of draw a line in the sand
when you — when you recognize that, you know, enough is enough. But I’m also wrestling with —
and I’ve been asked the question, like, who’s next? You know, I mean, under what circumstances do
we do the same thing with other countries that are facing very similar circumstances? Are we going
to now be the northern light for the entire region and, in fact, be there to basically address every
concern of every country? I guess that’s my first question, if you could comment on it. Do you have
any thoughts on that?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Senator, I think the president in his speech last night addressed that concern
and did it very well, and I think that’s the policy level at which a decision like that would be made,
would be in the executive branch with the president, secretary of defense, secretary of state.
Obviously, at my level, my job is to provide options from a military context, and then, when given a
military mission, execute it. And our current mission, as we’ve talked about, is the — everything from
the humanitarian to the arms embargo to the no-fly zone to the — protect the population. And so I’m
comfortable with the mission I’ve been given. We’re executing that. And if and when there are
decisions about other conflicts, then certainly we’ll be prepared to do that.
SEN. BROWN: And I appreciate the job you’re doing, and obviously, you know, you — they say
jump, you say how far, and I understand that. I, like many others, are obviously concerned. You
know, if there is a next — and is it true that we have been flying virtually all of the military aircraft
sorties into the region over the last couple of days? Is it us mostly, or not?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: No, sir. It’s — I can give you just a rough idea of the numbers. We —
SEN. BROWN: If you could, that would be great.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Sure. We have — we have flown the majority. I think in very round numbers,
out of 1,600 sorties, the United States has flown 950 of them. So we’ve probably flown 65 percent of
the sorties. As we now get NATO into the picture, I think you’ll see that U.S. percentage go down
significantly, and I think you’ll see the allied component of it go up. But I think for ballpark
purposes, about 60/40 U.S./allied.
And just to give you one other number, if you don’t mind: The actual strike sorties, the bomb-
dropping, were roughly 50-50 U.S. and allied. So I think the allied contribution has been reasonable,
and I think it’ll increase a bit as we get into the NATO —
SEN. BROWN: In terms of submarine, Tomahawks, et cetera, we’re the only ones —
ADM. STAVRIDIS: in terms of Tomahawk missiles, those were virtually all from the United States.
There were a handful from the Brits, but for all intents and purposes, the Tomahawks were a U.S.
mission with a little bit of help from the Brits.
SEN. BROWN: What’s the cost per Tomahawk?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I’ll find out and get back to you. I want to say 1.5 million (dollars), but —
SEN. BROWN: That’s my understanding as well. And how many did we drop?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Two hundred.
SENATOR JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Do you all plan — and Admiral, either one can answer; probably yourself — plan
to be asking for an appropriation — supplemental appropriations from DOD from Congress here for
— to support Libyan operations, money-wise?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Sir, those — a decision like that would come from the secretary of defense or
elsewhere in the administration. But that would not be something a combatant commander would
SEN. MANCHIN: Total cost has been quite high, as far as — I know that Senator Brown just
mentioned it, and we’re all concerned about that, because we’re going to be making some difficult
decisions here, and — right here in America. And the cost that we’re spending elsewhere is real
And I think the first week was approximately $600-plus million?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Sir, again, I’m probably not the right person to give you a set of numbers. But I
think it’s fair to say that the operation will be in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars. I think
that’s a fair estimate. But I’m not the right person to ask. I can certainly convey that to the department
and get you the right number.
SEN. MANCHIN: Do you have an estimation on timetable, how long you think we’ll be there?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Sir, I think it’s very difficult to ascertain that.
SEN. MANCHIN: OK. And do you think that coalition — do you believe that any part of the
coalition expects to put ground troops in Libya? Or are there ground troops in Libya now?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Sir, there are no ground troops in Libya now, to my knowledge. And —
SEN. MANCHIN: By any of the coalition or NATO?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Not to my knowledge. And I have heard no discussion of doing so at this point.
SEN. MANCHIN: So you don’t know of any of the coalition that’s planning on having ground —
we’ve said in — that we will not — as Americans, we will not put American troops on the ground in
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Right.
SEN. MANCHIN: Is that still correct?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: It is correct. And it is also correct that in the conversations around NATO over
the last number of weeks as this was debated, there was no discussion of the insertion of ground
troops by any other partner.
SENATOR KELLY AYOTTE (R-NH): I notice you’ve
described, Admiral, somewhat the mission in Libya. How do we define success in Libya?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I think the mission that I am given and under which I am operating at the
moment — the military mission — has some clear metrics associated with it. Let’s take the arms
embargo, for example. It would be a zero penetration of Libya with arms coming to resupply
Colonel Gaddafi, for example. In terms of protecting the population, I think our metric would be is
the population safe — are the civilians under attack.
So we would — what we would want to over time establish is a situation which we would call in
NATO context a safe and secure environment for the population. In terms of the no-fly zone, the
metrics obvious — it’s no flying by any of the — any of the military aircraft or any other aircraft
without authorization from NATO. In terms of the humanitarian mission we’ve been assigned, it’s
numbers of refugees — are they receiving the care and so on. So I think that’s the military mission
we’ve been given and we have some reasonable metrics that will apply as we go forward to make
sure that we meet those for policy makers.
SEN. AYOTTE: I certainly understand and appreciate those metrics and I guess my question is
getting at overall what’s our — what’s our objective — what’s — how do we measure success in Libya
meaning if we have got Gaddafi in power and he decides to wait us out one of the concerns I have is
what’s our strategy if that’s the outcome.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I think that if you look at what’s happening today, again, in London where 40
nations are coming together to discuss this I think virtually every nation’s leader has spoken to the
desirability of the departure of Colonel Gaddafi. So how the international community arrives at that I
believe will be a combination of the kind of work that’s being done in a military context by the and
under the auspices of the U.N. Security Council Resolution and NATO coupled with the economic
sanctions, the financial control of assets of Libyan goods that are outside the travel restrictions. By
putting that cumulative pressure on the regime in Libya I think you have the best chance of
achieving what the heads of state have indicated they desire.
SEN. AYOTTE: And don’t you think it’ll be also difficult without some type of military involvement
to get a man like Gaddafi to go?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I think it’s hard to say. When you look historically at different leaders
sometimes they stay and they fight and they die and sometimes they crack and they give up and they
leave the country. There’s a wide spectrum of what could happen going forward. I think it is clear
that the international community as indicated by the statements of the leaders of so many different
countries have indicated that it’s time for Colonel Gaddafi to leave.
SEN. AYOTTE: I’d like to follow up on a question that Senator Inhofe asked you about and that’s
the relationship or whatever information we may have — the relationship between al-Qaeda and the
rebels in Libya. There was open source reporting earlier this week that al-Qaeda affiliates in North
Africa may have stolen surface-to- air missiles from an arsenal in Libya recently. Can you tell us
about that incident and also what does that say if anything about the relationship between the rebels
and al-Qaeda affiliates?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I think I’d like to take that question for the record and come back to you so I
could give it the full benefit of a classified response and I think that would probably be the
appropriate way to tackle that one.
SENATOR MARK UDALL (D-CO): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning, gentlemen. Let me
turn to Libya. Let me make a initial comment. I support the actions of the president in this
administration. I think for us to have stood by while Gaddafi moved on the towns and cities in the
western part of Libya would have been unconscionable. I think we would’ve been indefensible.
Having said that, I’ve also made — or I’m going to continue to ask as many questions as come to
mind. And Admiral, if I might, as you know, the rebel forces have been more or less welcomed by
the civilian populations in the East.
But if the rebels are able to close in on cities that are generally more supportive of the Gadhafi
regime, how will NATO protect civilians caught in a potential crossfire? And then that question can
become even more intriguing and important if you frame it this way, if rebel forces fire on civilian
targets, or military targets that place civilians in harm’s way, how are we going to protect those
innocent people? Would we fire on the rebel forces, for example?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Well from all that I’ve seen, at the current stage of this conflict, we are working
very hard to protect all of the civilian population. And in doing that, we are setting up air zones —
and this is where the no-fly zone is actually more than simply a no-fly zone. It is a protective zone
that allows us to use out air assets to interdict a situation in which civilians are coming under attack.
In terms of whether or not we would parse through civilians versus rebels versus opposition leaders
versus Gadhafi forces, we would have to rely on our intelligence, particularly our signals intelligence
to have a sense of what’s occurring on the ground, and then make conditions based decisions at that
SEN. UDALL: It is difficult, though Admiral —
ADM. STAVRIDIS: It is difficult.
SEN. UDALL: — as you present the various —
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Yes, sir.
SEN. UDALL: — scenarios. You — particularly when you move in more densely populated areas —
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Indeed.
SEN. UDALL: — and how do our aircraft prevent civilian casualties and other damage?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: I think it’ll be extremely challenging. We are aided by a sense that I think is
manifest in much of the country, which is against Gadhafi. And I think that as more and more
pressure is applied as we continue to apply both economic sanction, financial freezing, we squeeze
the economy, I believe that his support base will shrink and the tribal aspects of Lybia will come to
play in a way that will hopefully achieve the policy indication of a departure of Gadhafi.
But I agree, it’s going to be complicated and conditions based as we move through.
SEN. UDALL: Ideally, the use of military force here is designed to create political space so that the
Gadhafi regime falls either of its own accord or its own decision making, or through outside forces,
particularly brought to bear by the rebel forces.
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Yes, sir.
SEN. UDALL: Because I think that’s the end game using military force to drive political ends, and I
see you agreeing in acknowledgment.
Und dieser kurze Ausschnitt hat nicht direkt mit Libyen zu tun – wirft aber ein Schlaglich auf eine US-Sicht… :
SEN. SESSIONS: Well, you — I believe in your statement you say it’s a demonstration of the United
States commitment. If Europe isn’t committed to defending itself, does it need to have us to defend
them? We’ve got Europeans that pretend to help us in Afghanistan, but who won’t allow their
soldiers to fire their weapons. And the GAO has reported that it costs $17 billion for the DOD
installations in Europe. And they estimate 24 billion (dollars) through 2014 to operate and maintain
our bases there.
And is NATO so frail that we’ve got to have another $1.8 billion construction project to maintain
perhaps more troops than the plan has called for?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Well, Senator, again, we’re looking very hard at making every reasonable
reduction in those numbers of troops.
But I would argue — let’s take Afghanistan as an example. We have 45,000 non-U.S. troops in
Afghanistan with us. We’ve lost, very tragically, 1,400 of our young men and women killed in
action. Our allies have lost 900 killed in action. On a proportional basis, it’s actually higher than our
So they’re in it; they’re in the fight in Afghanistan. And I would argue that part of the reason they are
there with us in Afghanistan and they are with us in Libya is because of those enduring
commitments. Truly taking your point that we ought to look at every reasonable way to reduce it to
the minimum in order to give our U.S. taxpayers —
SEN. SESSIONS: Well, I know you’re familiar with Japan and our fleet that’s there and how much
Japan supports it. They pay about 40 percent of the cost of our military bases in Japan.
And I believe the Europeans have gotten far too comfortable under the American umbrella. They’re
reducing their budget substantially across the board and we’re trying to hold ours at a minimum
reduction — maybe without reduction — and they want us to keep more and more troops there. I think
that’s a situation that cannot continue.
And both of you need to know that when our government spends $3.7 trillion and takes in 2.2
(trillion dollars), that we are on an unsustainable path — as the Federal Reserve chairman has told us.
And money is going to be tight in the Defense budget and these are some areas, it seems to me, that
real savings can accrue without weakening our ability to defend America.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.