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  • Will the Obama Administration Attack Libya Before the Foreign Policy Debate?

    Will the United States military strike targets in Libya before the October 22 presidential debate, which, coincidentally, will focus on foreign policy and national security?

    Probably.

    Would this attack fall into the “October Surprise” or “Wag the Dog” category?

    Probably not.

    The attack would certainly be no surprise. On September 11, terrorists killed four Americans in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Since 9/11, the U.S. has consistently responded to terrorist attacks on American citizens with force—and done so as expeditiously as possible. A U.S. strike after Benghazi would be nothing new.

    The attack could not also legitimately be a “Wag the Dog” scenario, with the Administration constructing a crisis to divert public attention from another issue. Clearly, terrorist activity has been building in North Africa for some time. In particular, there were numerous threats and attacks on U.S. personnel in Libya before September 11, 2012. There was bound to be a reckoning in Libya sooner or later.

    On the other hand, will the Administration play the “national security” card to make the President look more presidential?

    Of course it will.

    The White House has a consistent record of shaping, shifting, and spinning foreign policy events for that purpose. Vice President Joe Biden’s declaration during a political speech that “Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive” was a typical example of how the Administration trumpets its record—as it sees it—to make the President look more commander-in-chief-like.

    Even during the first presidential debate, which was supposed to be on domestic policy, President Obama mentioned several times that he had pulled the U.S. out of Iraq. Of course, this was framed as an accomplishment without any discussion or debate that the withdrawal may have been premature, resulting in the current declining state of security that’s compromising U.S. interests in the region.

    Will the President try to use military operations to shield himself from criticism or suppress the investigation into government activities before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi?

    Probably not.

    The Administration is too smart to think it can use military operations to play duck and cover—that would just fuel Wag the Dog speculation. Nor is it likely that Governor Romney will go after the President for attacks in Libya. He no doubt learned a lesson to be more cautious and deliberate after the criticism he received in responding to the statement made by the U.S. embassy in Cairo before the anti-American riots broke out.

    Will there be a serious discussion on foreign policy in the next presidential debate regardless of what happens in Libya?

    You bet.

    There is no subject on which the two candidates differ more than in their views regarding foreign policy and national security. They represent two profoundly different paths on nuclear weapons and missile defense policy; what constitutes a strong nation defense; the way U.S. engages with countries like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea; and a host of other issues. There is no way they can just rally around the flag for 90 minutes in a presidential debate on foreign policy and national security.

    One way or another, the question of “Are you safer now than you were four years ago?” is going to get answered.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Will the Obama Administration Attack Libya Before the Foreign Policy Debate?

    1. guest says:

      Well, this is dumb

      Don't we already have Marines and drones in Libya right now?

      • Hugh Phillips says:

        Where did you get that information? I am not aware of any forces in Libya and I do stay up on the news as much as possible. That said, of course they aren't far away like just off the coast on their ships where they could pounce any time. Sadly, it should have happened before our Ambassador was killed.

    2. Barquemaster says:

      Lybia's government and the people are friendly to the U.S. The attack on the embassy was by a terrorist group of which Obama has had a hard time coming to terms with. A strike on some terrorist compounds within Lybia may occur but those wouldn't be construed as an attack on Lybia. But no, we will NOT attack Lybia.
      NOW, Obama may give Netanyahu the go ahead to attack Iran. He really won't support the attack in full though but enough to show involvement and endanger troops. This is the only military action that will take attention away from the campaign and "possibly" help Obama. If a major offensive occurs in Afghanistan it had better be successful but drawn out towards election day. Afghanistan is a gamble though because a failure can doom him.

    3. RennyG says:

      2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and "heal their land!!" What is "HE" trying to tell us??

    4. Stirling says:

      The president is "two faced." On one hand he wants to apease the muslims (both radical, and non-radical), as well as apease his base (who aren't pro-war, pro miliitary). My guess is he will have the UN do something on his behalf to give a 3rd party responsibility (Not his own as usual). Bettween the un-rest in the middle east (for cover) to his UN agenda (to cede US soverignty to the UN) America is not seeing some real threats posed by this administrations foreign policy.

    5. Paul Stone says:

      Just as we have military leaders to replace leaders like Gen. Petraeus who was withdrawn, so Al-Quida has shown that it had leaders to replace Bin Laden. So what's the big deal that's been made by Obama about killing Bin Laden?

    6. Clearhead says:

      Another question: Will the president use some sort of miltary action or some alternate and convenient crisis situation to avert meetiing with Governor Romney for their next debate?

      Without a doubt — if he can manufacture one.

    7. Don DeHoff says:

      I will refine your attack timing even further to two poossible time frames. It will occure the day of or the day before the VP debate (the VP will have to go to the "war room") in that the Administratioin does not want that debate to take place—-Ryan will eat Biden alive—–or, it will occure right before the President's next debate, purely for PR purposes. The "Alinsky 101" method still employs the "wag-the-dog" methodolgy, without timing being a limiting factor—the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

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