“For the United States military to say that they were 480 miles away and they couldn’t do anything, and they couldn’t move one aircraft in 8 hours? I’d say it’s time to relieve a lot of people in the chain of command… If your ambassador has been either killed or captured, and is missing at the hands of terrorists, you do not ask any country for “Mother may I?” before you come across the border to save your own.”
-Former Assistant Defense Secretary Bing West to FOX News
I think he is wrong. Because the military CAN NOT cross an international border without explicit orders from the President. It’s a big “red line.”
The President alone can grant cross-border authority. Otherwise, the entire rescue that is already in progress must stop in its tracks. Ships must loiter on station, and planes must be redirected to an air base to await the President’s decision on granting CROSS BORDER AUTHORITY. If it never comes, the assets in Behghazi must rely only on assets already “in country” in Libya.
So if Obama said “No outside military action,”then THAT IS IT. Nobody in the chain of command below him can countermand his “standing orders” not to send military forces from outside of Libya into Libyan air space.