British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced he is working on plans for a no-fly zone over Libya.
Addressing the House of Commons, Cameron said, “We will not rule out military assets. We will not tolerate this regime using military force against its own people. This is an illegitimate regime which has lost the support of its people. To that end, I have asked the Ministry of Defense to look into the no-fly zone. Our message to Colonel Qaddafi is simple: go now.”
Thus does the burden of leadership pass from an inert American White House. The post-American century is full of little surprises.
Update: The U.S. military has moved the aircraft carrier Enterprise to the mouth of the Suez Canal, in preparation for possible relocation to the Mediterranean for humanitarian or combat duty in Libya.
Also, the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, with a Marine expeditionary unit on board, is being prepared for possible deployment to the Libyan theater. The 40,500 ton Kearsarge carries both amphibious landing craft and aircraft, as well as a medical facility which can handle up to 600 patients.
Update: it was a tough day for the Libyan uprising, as the Associated Press reports protests in Tripoli were suppressed, while the regime appears ready to move reinforcements into the city of Zawiya, 30 miles from Tripoli, and break a stalemate with rebel forces. Qaddafi’s air force bombed an ammunition depot in rebel hands near Ajdabiya, 450 miles east of Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast.