The Corner

Headed for a Massive Downgrade

Two things stand out about the current battle. First, a key player has admitted that we are in a stalemate. Second, the president has issued an empty threat. That is why the United States is now on the verge of a massive downgrade–of its credible deterrent power, that is. In other words, the United States is now mere inches away from losing a war. Not that Obama actually cares that much about “winning” in Libya.

So President Obama’s leadership has now put America’s security and prestige at substantial risk in more ways than one. This applies, by the way, whether you think the intervention in Libya was a good idea in the first place or not. I know we’ve all got other fish to fry right now. Still, the fact that America is just a short step away from actually losing a war seems like it might be worth a moment’s consideration. All of which puts me in mind of a popular riddle: If American power fell in the desert and no-one was around to hear it, would it really have fallen at all? You bet.


Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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