"Absent international authorization, the United States acting alone would be stepping into a situation whose consequences are unforeseeable," Clinton told a congressional hearing, stressing that NATO and the United Nations should take the lead in planning the next steps.Last I checked WE were the leaders of the free world. If we lead, they will follow. Here you have a case of a people rising up against a madman and a tyrant. We put a smackdown on him once, and he still damn near killed me. We are the only nation on earth that has the assets capable of creating and then enforcing a no-fly zone. Yes, people are worried that it opens the door to be drawn deeper into the civil war that's currently engulfing Libya. But you craft the ROE so that NO Aircraft fly. The reason it failed in the First Gulf War was that we allowed Saddam to use helicopters. And Libya ain't the wooded hills and valleys of Bosnia and Kosovo. Use near shore ship based Aegis supplemented with land and carrier based AWACS over the population centers and that will allow the "rebels" to gain ground. Once Gadhafi is gone and/or dead, mission over.
So yeah, go back up and look at that list of carriers. Look at what type aircraft ours carry versus the other countries carriers. Here's a hint; VSTOL ground attack aircraft like Harriers don't do so well in a fight against Supersonic fighters. The British almost got their crumpets folded in Falklands by the Argentines because the Harriers couldn't protect the fleet from the Super Etendards and the bomb laden A-4's.
Try that against a US Carrier Battle Group and you'll be writing letters to pilots wives and mothers.