As the excuses mount from the administration for why they cannot take any action against Gaddafi, it is becoming apparent that the US is looking for risk free ways to intervene.
A no fly zone appears off the table as does any direct intervention using US troops. There is a report that the United States has asked Saudi Arabia to send weapons to the rebels, but King Abdullah will probably turn that down. The Saudis don't want to risk any of their people any more than Obama does.
Instead, the US is looking at intervention that wouldn't be very effective but also would at least give the appearance that they are doing something. The New York Times:
The defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, and top commanders have warned of political fallout if America again attacks a Muslim nation, even to support a popular revolt. So military planners on the Pentagon's Joint Staff and in its field commands are offering a broad range of approaches, depending on how events play out in Libya and how tough the United States and its allies want to be.
Even without firing a shot, a relatively passive operation using signal-jamming aircraft in international airspace could muddle Libyan government communications with military units. Administration officials said Sunday that preparations for such an operation were under way.
The latest military force to draw within striking distance of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, is the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard two amphibious assault ships, the Kearsarge and the Ponce. The unit provides a complete air, sea and land force that can project its power quickly and across hundreds of miles, either from flat-decked ships in the Mediterranean Sea or onto a small beachhead on land.
There is no practical scenario where American military personnel would be placed in harms way in Libya. Any direct action would probably involve cruise missiles launched far away from where Gaddafi can hurt us. At the moment, there aren't many targets for the missiles that would justify their use - but that might change in the future.