Behind the crisis in Benghazi, a lack of firepower

As Americans fought for their lives in Benghazi, Libya, the Pentagon’s options for direct intervention were limited to a fleet of F-16 fighters.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accompanied by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, gestures during their joint news conference at the Pentagon on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. During the news conference, Mr. Panetta said the U.S. military did not intervene during the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya last month because it was over before the U.S. has sufficient information on which way to respond. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accompanied by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, gestures during their joint news conference at the Pentagon on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. During the news conference, Mr. Panetta said the U.S. military did not intervene during the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya last month because it was over before the U.S. has sufficient information on which way to respond. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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