Foreign Policy Blogs

Markets Muted On Military Action in Libya

I support military action in Libya: it was warranted, necessary and just.  And notably, Market reaction has focused more on events in Japan, and the global markets were muted at best in response to military action in Libya.  Much of Libya’s oil production flows to Britain and Europe.  However, it is both interesting, as much as unfortunate, to witness the levels of gratuitous criticism being leveled at the West, being led by President Obama, from all political quadrants for helping to enforce a UN-sanctioned No-Fly Zone in Libya in reaction to Qaddafi’s killing of civilians & rebels who aspire to an open, democratic nation after 40+ years of Qaddafi autocratic nepotism. If no action had been taken, rest assured the President would still be criticized for ‘doing nothing’ as leader of the free world — a role that is inherited with the office. In effect, President Obama, was damned if he DID, and damned f he DIDN’T. Such is the nature of leadership & politics: it’s easy to be cynical eating Hagen Daz, sitting on your sofa watching the evening news, as well-paid talking heads — who enjoy the comforts of American Exceptionalism — condemn its exercise regardless of what the President does. It is hypocrisy of the ugliest form. Nevertheless, the most recent polling indicates that a solid plurality of the American public supports the President’s decision.

The simple fact is President Obama did what should always be done: namely, he used the sanction of International law by seeking a UN resolution to enforce a No-Fly Zone. By building MULTI-lateral support with all the stakeholders — the European Union, the African Union and,most  importantly, the League of Arab Nations, as well as the Libyan rebels on-the-ground — President Obama differentiated himself as the “Anti-Bush” – a swaggering, thoughtless UNI-lateral cowboy who’s reactionary petulance is responsible for the US still being engaged in TWO very, costly wars.  It is unfortunate also to see, though initially supportive, the African Union wavering in their support of these actions.  Still, whatever criticisms there are of the President, this much is certain: it was not done without an exhaustive examination of the options, a cost-benefit analysis of the optimum approach, and broad international support. No one likes wars — except perhaps conservatives Republican vice presidents who benefit financially from private military corporations they once led as CEO such as Haliburton, and the company formerly known as ‘Blackwater.’  But that’s a point left for another time…

With the US intent on stepping back from the primary role in … enforcing a no-fly zone, Mr. Obama called PM  David Cameron of Britain and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France as he flew from Chile to El Salvador.  “What we’re saying right now is that NATO has a key role to play here,” speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr. Obama said “I have absolutely no doubt” that the allies will agree on a plan to transfer control from the US to the international coalition.

As noted earlier, the multi-lateral action was welcomed by the rebel leadership in Libya, by the European Union and by the League of Arab Nations. Qaddafi is an international pariah of the highest order who is guilty of indiscriminately slaughtering innocent civilians. He has lost the right to power in Libya, and by the universal appeal of Libyan citizens, he has lost legitimacy as a leader. It is RIGHT and MORAL that we should have acted on behalf of the Libyan people. Still, President Obama MUST clearly define what the objectives and the End-game strategy is for this incursion in Libya.  Further, since Europe is the primary benefactor of Libyan oil & trade, the primary responsibility for further action must lie with the European Union and the League of Arab Nations. It is time for Europe to “Man-Up” and stop riding the coattail of American military blood & treasure.

Political Art Source:    By Bryant Arnold, Cartoon a Day

 

Author

Elison Elliott
Elison Elliott

Elison Elliott , a native of Belize, is a professional investment advisor for the Global Wealth and Invesment Management division of a major worldwide financial services firm. His experience in the global financial markets span over 18 years in both the public and private sectors. Elison is a graduate, cum laude, of the City College of New York (CUNY), and completed his Masters-level course requirements in the International Finance & Banking (IFB) program at Columbia University (SIPA). Elison lives in the northern suburbs of New York City. He is an avid student of sovereign risk, global economics and market trends, and enjoys writing, aviation, outdoor adventure, International travel, cultural exploration and world affairs.

Areas of Focus:
Market Trends; International Finance; Global Trade; Economics

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