Four hundred (400) United States Marines are with a carrier battle group and are immediately available to invade Libya, defeat conventional and irregular Libyan forces, install and interim government, ensure that essential services to the Libyan civilian infrastructure is repaired and reopened, provide assistance to thousands of refugees, reopen diplomatic missions and embassies, restore petroleum production and satisfy the wants, demands, desires, criticism(s) and ranting of local, national and international media. Note a bad days work huh. Jarheads are good – knew all along they were as good as the country expects of them.
Backup for the Gyrienes? Well the United States Army has an Airborne Brigade in Italy. Don’t know how many of the guys are available for a side war in Libya. Some may be in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. If they were deployed (info for civilians) they would have to be detached from their current mission(s) to be dropped on Mr. Gaddafi and his guys. Any units in northern (means the Airborne Guys would have a long flight to Libya) Italy could probably be air dropped directly on Moammar and his guys. The Troops would probably appreciate some of the Navy Airplanes to take out AAA. I have never been Airborne (no I don’t jump out of airplanes and yes I am afraid of jumping out of airplanes) but imagine receiving fire from the ground while suspended in a parachute might be a “mommy – blanket – teddy bear” moment. The Navy Guys are real good gunners. They can shoot naval cannon with a great degree of accuracy, have well stocked (at least they used to) inventories of shells, fuses, powder, etc. Naval Aviators are real cool at strafing and bombing too. So our Marines do have some backup.
The 400 have bayonets too. Looks like they could hang on against the Libyan hordes for at least the number of days 300 Spartans did at Thermopylae against the guys from Iran – back in the day. (The Spartans of course had an on the ground backup of 700 Thespians and 400 Thebans. So far the Marines have – I believe “Good Intentions backing them up”. I’m not sure the Marines could reasonably expect any backup from left-wing types in the media, certainly not from universities and many politicians.
On a serious note, men preparing to land amid an unstable political and military situation with very limited resources are going into a situation fraught with danger. The left likes to protest any military intervention, expedition, commitment or use of American Military Forces. Left-wing politicians will call for an immediate withdraw of American Forces and demand ten different investigations. There is no national will to invade Libya! None!
Any concept of invading a country that German, Italian, British, Australian, New Zealand and Allied and American troops fought over for years – before defeat of the Axis troops – must be very carefully planned. Full support must be provided including two full divisions with sufficient Armor and Air assets available to the Infantry. Rules of engagement must not be included. The laws of land warfare and military regulations are sufficient – the troops must not be endangered by criminal restrictions on their ability to kill the enemy. Know too that collateral damage means dead babies, dead children, dead moms and dads and horror on a mass scale. These things will happen The United States of America invades Libya. The Military will try to avoid civilian injury and it will fail. Clean uncluttered warfare does not exist.
O.K. civilians! What do you want the Military to do and when do you want it done? Like always, we are waiting for your direction. Good thing Marines already know their way around Tripoli!
Dale R. Suiter
March 2, 2011
Dale R. Suiter served in the United States Marine Corps June 1966 – February – 1970. He served with Ammo Company First FSR, 2nd CAG Q-6 and Q-3, H&S 81’s 3/9 and 1/3. His service “On the Rock” was with Ordanance Schools, Camp Hansen. Following the Marine Corp, he completed a career in public service – prison and jail operations. In addition, he completed a career as a reserve officer with the Michigan Army National Guard. His two sons and two sons-in-law are veterans of the war on terror. The family continues in service to the United States of America.