Green with Navy

It’s almost 50 days and counting until Lunghu’s bet on Moammar Gadhafi can finish in the money –or not.  If this were a call option or futures contract instead of an unenforceable private wager, Lunghu would be sitting on some sizeable unrealized paper profits right about now. That’s because last week the Pentagon’s portfolio manager on the Libya account told a US Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that NATO’s airwar campaign appears stalemated:

[AFRICOM commander Army Gen. Carter Ham] said the operation was largely a stalemate now and was more likely to remain that way now that America has transferred control to NATO.
He said NATO has done an effective job in an increasingly complex combat situation. But he noted that, in a new tactic, Gadhafi’s forces are making airstrikes more difficult by staging military forces and vehicles near civilian areas such as schools and mosques.

Of course, the senators just had to ask the $64 billion question:  what about sending in US ground troops to break the stalemate and oust Gadhafi?  The general was amply prepared with the obvious answer:

“I suspect there might be some consideration of that. My personal view at this point would be that that’s probably not the ideal circumstance, for the regional reaction that having American boots on the ground would entail.”

The AP story followed Gen. Ham’s quote with the observation that

President Obama has said repeatedly there will be no U.S. troops on the ground in Libya, although there are reports of small CIA teams in the country.

And on that note …

The [USS Providence] fast-attack submarine is returning to Naval Submarine Base New London on Friday after participating in U.S.-led strikes against military forces in Libya [during a six-month deployment].  The vessel carrying 127 officers and enlisted crew also visited ports in Spain, Turkey and Gibraltar.

Welcome home, boys!  A little more elbowroom on the westbound passage, huh?  Lunghu will only add that those extra-wide hatches on the foredeck sure come in handy when discharging ‘cargo’ at 0300 hrs in the Gulf of Sidra.

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