I am going to change topic here for a moment because I am tired of the generally useless discussion going on about the intervention in Libya. There are unending discussions about the decision to enter the conflict and even more about the lack of leadership by President Obama.
They are missing the point. President Obama may be a very reluctant warrior in this case, but there is nothing wrong with being cautious about entering an armed conflict. That type of caution is warranted whenever an important decision must be made. The reason President George W. Bush is considered a war monger is because he was determined to enter into conflict with Iraq, regardless of the reason.
President Obama had every right and a deep responsibility to weigh the costs of entering into the conflict in Libya. Letting other world leaders take the lead in making the decision when he did not believe it was the right action was a proper course for him to take. Being hesitant at entering another armed conflict is to be commended.
The abdication of President Obama took place after the decision was made to enter the conflict. In any endeavor, no matter how great or small, once the decision has been made to act, it is an absolute necessity to wholeheartedly support the actions needed to successfully complete the path that has been chosen. That is where the leadership of President Obama has failed.
Never before in history has a president failed to support an action of this nature, once the decision was made to act. He has continued to act resistant to the decision he has made. His behavior once the decision was made to enter an armed conflict is abhorrent. Without his support to enter the conflict, there would be no coalition intervention. Despite the fact that the entire conflict exists because of his decision to engage with Qhaddafi’s forces in Libya, he maintains the demeanor of reluctance.
The failure of leadership by President Obama has nothing to do with the decision to enter into the armed conflict. No matter how one feels about that decision, once it has been made and a course of action has been determined. The responsibility of a leader is to ensure that the outcome is successful. President Obama has utterly failed in this regard. He has desperately tried to pass the buck to whoever will take it. He has succeeded in getting NATO to take responsibility for the conflict. As if their after-the-fact leadership will somehow take the responsibility away from President Obama.
Imagine Lincoln trying to pass over leadership in the American Civil War. Or Roosevelt allowing Stalin to make the troop decisions for American forces during WWII. Even in Korea once the decision was made to act, Truman took responsibility for the actions of American forces.
For the first time ever an American president has made the decision to go to war, but has then abdicated leadership to others. That is the true failure of leadership by President Obama. He is failing to support his decision. That President Obama committed American forces to a conflict that he is not willing to lead is the ultimate failure in leadership.