The PJ Tatler

Obama speaks on Libya

He more or less laid out an ultimatum to the Libyan dictator: Ceasefire or…we’ll do something.

Gaddafi has a choice. The resolution has clear conditions that must be met. A cease fire must start immediately.

These terms are not negotiable. If Gaddafi does not follow the resolution, it will result in military action.

Obama hastened to add that the US won’t lead the effort, and that we won’t use ground troops.

The speech isn’t the test. The test is what happens when Gaddafi reacts to the speech.

Update: Plucked off of Drudge, the US is deploying ships off Libya now.

The USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group will deploy on March 23 “ahead of its original schedule in order to relieve units from the USS Kearsarge (Amphibious Ready Group) currently positioned in the Mediterranean Sea,” it said in a statement.

Interesting choice of assets. They’re basically Marine expeditionary units, equipped to launch Harriers and Ospreys as well as conventional helicopters (and send Marines in to invade, though Obama has ruled that out). These amphib carriers are among the meanest and most versatile floating units we have in the arsenal. But I would expect either us or one of the NATO allies to put a conventional carrier into the package before long.