Ms. Clinton Goes to War?
By Staff News & Analysis - October 17, 2012

U.S. to Help Create an Elite Libyan Force to Combat Islamic Extremists … The Pentagon and State Department are speeding up efforts to help the Libyan government create a commando force to combat Islamic extremists like the ones who killed the American ambassador in Libya last month and to help counter the country's fractious militias, according to internal government documents. – NY Times

Dominant Social Theme: These are necessary efforts in an unsafe world.

Free-Market Analysis: It seems like Hillary Clinton's very own terrorist strike force is about to become a reality. We first wrote about this back in May. You can see the article here: "As Commandos Raid Tampa, US State Department Demands Power to Declare War."

Ms. Clinton was attending a Tampa-based conference, "Building the Global SOF Partnership," with representatives from some 90 nations. During the conference military from these countries participated in a drill that aimed to "rescue" Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, supposedly kidnapped by terrorists.

The drill received a lot of attention in the alternative media but we found what Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying to be even more interesting.

We wrote at the time that the Secretary of State seemed to imply in certain remarks that the State Department now possessed the authority to declare a limited state of war via an expanding liaison with US Special Operations Forces. We quoted her directly:

… We created a new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations that is working to put into practice lessons learned over the past decade and institutionalize a civilian surge capacity to deal with crises and hotspots.

Experts from this new bureau are working closely with Special Operations Forces around the world … Our diplomats also saw that the UN staff in the region could be useful partners. So they worked through our team in Washington and New York to obtain new authorities for the UN officials on the ground and then link them up directly with our Special Operations Forces to share expertise and improve coordination …

We have to keep our international cooperation going and growing at every level. Next week I'll be heading to Europe, and I'll end up in Istanbul for the second meeting of the new Global Counterterrorism Forum, which we helped launch last year. Turkey and the United States serve as the founding co-chairs, and we've been joined by nearly 30 other nations.

At the time, we asked, "Who has given Ms. Clinton the brief to do such things? … Constitutionally, only the US Congress has the right to commit US troops to war."

We certainly didn't expect an answer but now we may have received one with the sudden creation of an "elite Libyan Force." Here's some more:

The Obama administration quietly won Congress's approval last month to shift about $8 million from Pentagon operations and counterterrorism aid budgeted for Pakistan to begin building an elite Libyan force over the next year that could ultimately number about 500 troops. American Special Operations forces could conduct much of the training, as they have with counterterrorism forces in Pakistan and Yemen, American officials said.

The effort to establish the new unit was already under way before the assault that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at the United States Mission in Benghazi, Libya.

According to an unclassified internal State Department memo sent to Congress on Sept. 4, the plan's goal is to enhance "Libya's ability to combat and defend against threats from Al Qaeda and its affiliates." A companion Pentagon document envisions that the Libyan commando force will "counter and defeat terrorist and violent extremist organizations." Right now, Libya has no such capability, American officials said …

The proposed Libyan commando force springs from an unusual partnership between the State Department and the Pentagon. Just last year, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the defense secretary at the time, Robert M. Gates, agreed to pool resources from their departments in a fund approved by Congress to respond more quickly to emerging threats from Al Qaeda and other militants in places like Libya, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

You see? The big news here, just as we speculated five months ago, is that the US State Department is now directly involved. Rather than becoming less of a colonialist presence in the world, US officials seem to be moving rapidly in the other direction.

After Thoughts

American citizens may not support such expansions but officials like Clinton obviously do. And they're not asking permission.