Rich Galen

The United States supplies 22 percent of NATO's budget, almost as much as the next largest contributors - Britain and France - combined.

A Canadian three-star general was selected to be in charge of all NATO operations in Libya.

His boss, the commander of NATO's Allied Joint Force Command Naples, is an American admiral.

The admiral's boss is the supreme allied commander Europe, a post always held by an American.

So, other than that Canadian three-star (who will be working out of Naples) it looks an American operation all the way.

Pretty kinetic org chart, if you ask me.

Another instance of oddly used military jargon appeared yesterday afternoon when it was announced it would take "another day or two" to hand over control of the Libyan operation to NATO. According to NBC's Courtney Kube, a senior administration official said the delay wasn't unexpected because the handover is "a major muscle movement."

Leave it alone. We all know which noun we would substitute for "muscle."

According to Reuters, that Canadian general, Charles Bouchard, helped out when he told reporters asking about the date of the handoff that "this is a very complex operation...the exact date is soon."

So, if the exact date is "soon," the approximate date would be what … "whenever?"

Of the 22 members of the Arab League only one, Qatar, has flown actual sorties. All 28 members of the African Union are equally content to let the United States not lead the un-war in Libya.

"Days, not weeks" looks like it is going to morph into "months, not years."

Just in time for another speech.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the Voice of America, and Globe & Mail stories. There is a link to the main NATO webpage and a small mp3 file which you can use to practice pronouncing "Qatar."

Also a pretty amusing Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at