Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, argued forcefully that the United States should join the 2011 coalition that was fighting to overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddhafi. Clinton also argued against putting any American boots on the ground in Libya, which did a couple of things. Sure, it ensured that there would be no American casualties (well, until Benghazi), but it also ensured that there would be very little American influence if the rebels succeeded.
It’s 2014, and American boots may have to hit Libyan ground to get the last Americans out of that deteriorating country.
As Libya deteriorates into an increasingly armed conflict between hardline Islamic groups and forces loyal to renegade Gen. Khalifa Hifter, the State Department urged U.S. citizens to leave the country as the U.S. began positioning troops to quickly evacuate Americans if necessary.
The amphibious ship Bataan with Ospreys and 1,000 Marines on board has moved into the eastern Mediterranean to be ready for a possible evacuation, CBS News correspondent David Martin reported. The ship had been taking part in an exercise with Jordan.
This is a significant increase over the 200 Marines who had been moved to Sigonella, Sicily, and a significant decrease in the distance Marines would have to travel to evacuate Americans.
The fact is, the US had very little reason to help oust Gaddhafi in 2011. He had supported terrorism in the 1980s, but had been bombed into submission by Reagan, and the second war in Iraq terrified him. He shipped his clandestine nuclear program to the United States to ensure that we would not do to him what we did to Saddam.
That worked, until Hillary Clinton helped jihadists oust Gaddhafi. Clinton voted for the Iraq war and supported the intervention in Libya, only to turn hard against the Iraq war once it became difficult. She has yet to answer for her decisions on Libya.