Author joins former Presidential advisor in call for ‘channeling Reagan’ to deal with Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi
Hours before Presidential address, pair urge ‘principles in handling the principals’
by Kevin Wandra Monday, March 28, 2011
For More Information:
Alexis Walkenstein, 678-990-9032,
SAN FRANCISCO, March 28, 2011 – Only hours before President Barack Obama addresses the nation on plans for dealing with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, two men familiar with America’s first encounter with the African dictator are calling for the administration to take a Reagan-like stance in dealing with the situation.
William P. Clark, longtime advisor to President Ronald Reagan, and Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College and co-author of Clark’s Biography – The Judge – wrote an exclusive commentary published this morning by USA Today. The Judge is available from Ignatius Press.
“(President) Reagan understood that a bully continues bullying until he’s punched in the nose,” Clark and Kengor write. “That moment came with early morning exercises in August 1981, led by the USS Nimitz.” The pair recount how Gadhafi, in response to annual naval exercises in the Mediterranean’s Gulf of Sidra conducted by the U.S. Sixth Fleet, arbitrarily extended the traditionally held 12-mile coastal limit to upwards of 200 miles along the Libyan coast between Tripoli and Benghazi.
The administration of President Jimmy Carter relocated and rescheduled Sixth Fleet exercises instead of challenging Gadhafi. During his first year in office, President Reagan returned to the usual time and place for the maneuvers – and quickly approved new rules of engagement by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that authorized U.S. forces to immediately return fire if engaged by hostiles, without obtaining layers of approval.
As a result, two U.S. F-14 Tomcats shot down – with heat-seeking missiles – a pair of Libyan fighter jets after the latter fired air-to-air missiles at the Americans.
“President Obama has a difficult job with the present crisis in Libya,” Clark and Kengor write. “We believe the lessons of the Reagan years – and those immediately prior – speak for themselves.”
For more information about The Judge, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Dr. Paul Kengor, please contact Alexis Walkenstein with The Maximus Group at 678-990-9032.
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