The United States may have to send ground troops into Libya, according to Army General Carter Ham, speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Ham, who previously was in charge of American operations in Libya, prior to our transferring leadership authority to NATO, said that we are entering a period of stalemate that is likely to worsen now that we are no longer in charge of operations.

800px US Navy 090604 N 5549O 031 U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman  left  Carl Levin  chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee  and John McCain listen to Secretary of the Navy  SECNAV  the Honorable Ray Mabus

He said that we may have to send in ground troops to aid the rebels, now that Gadhafi has figured out how to deflect the air strike strategy. Apparently, in a bit of military strategy unheard of since the days of Patton, Gadhafi has moved his aircraft and military vehicles next to schools and mosques, making it almost impossible to actually knock any of them out of service. Luckily, we are still spending over $600 million per month on the air patrols, although it is primarily for reconnaissance now.

President Obama, who said about a month ago that he expected these operations to be over in a matter of days, not months, has also said that we will not send ground troops into the Civil War. It is unknown if he had his fingers crossed at that time. Ham also said that we are ready to provide strike aircraft, which usually accompany ground troops, and we have set up an expedited approval process to begin using these aircraft.

Ham told the committee that we needed to transfer authority to NATO, since most of the troops available for the operation were intended to serve in either Afghanistan or Iraq. This might be a problem, I guess, as this little party drifts along for the next decade or so. Apparently, our limit is two wars at the same time. Gee, and I was so looking forward to the next one, in Yemen, Iran, Syria, etc.

A number of senators at the hearing made some interesting points. John Cornyn complained that we should have had better intelligence in Libya; then, we might have an idea of whether the rebels who we are aiding are actually on our side in the conflict (assuming we have a side). Joe Manchin reflected on the cost, disputing whether the Pentagon’s estimate of $550 million per month was an underestimate by $100 million per month. Ham did not choose to refute this assertion.

I’m pretty sure that Generalissimo Hillary Clinton, the architect of this lovely little war, will soon wipe her hands of it…and her coterie of media friends will defend her actions. After all, her heart (assuming one is ever found) was in the right place.