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Thread: And Libya goes on...

  1. #661
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    We, the United States and NATO, are now engaged in an undeclared war against one party (or both parties, depending on what day it is) where the casus belli is a doctrine entitled Responsibility To Protect. Is anyone else concerned at what this precedent might lead to?
    I think you are being altogether too kind to the Obama Administration. I think they are flying this thing by the seat of their pants. In other words they haven't got the foggiest idea of what they are doing or what to do.

    As of yesterday (I note sudden increased air activity today) the US/NATO were losing the war (as you call it). Seem to have put half a billion into taking out anti-aircraft and other ground targets while failing spectacularly to lift the siege of Misurata and have allowed the liberated towns/villages all the way back to Brega to be retaken by Gaddafi's forces. This represents an absolute failure to implement UNSC Resolution 1973. Very disappointing.

    Noted that the US has finally accepted the Russian demand for a ceasefire and are attempting to find a way to implement this without losing face.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    ... we devote excessive energy to things that we not only cannot really fix but generally tend to make slightly worse and therefor devote inadequate energy to fixing our own shortfalls. ...
    Ken, in my book FWIW the US gets an A for effort. The failure to "fix" things is because idiots seem to make the plans for the military to carry out to the extent that the confidence of the military to sort out even a minor matter like Libya is shot to hell.

    Of course sometimes the military screw up (like in Somalia) so the cancer has spread to the military as well.

    How you fix this, I don't know.

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    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    After 9/11 there was a lot of talk about "draining the swamp" that breeds terrorism in the Middle East and Central Asia. In that sense the recent uprisings in Libya and other Islamic countries present unique "opportunities." However, during the last 10 years we've gotten bogged down in costly wars and nation-building efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now this Libyan intervention comes along. Rather than being the world's international policeman I think the U.S. should save its military power and money for situations in which vital American interests are at stake, and until such time as that happens we should keep our saber in its scabbard. That's my humble opinion.

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    Default History can help - Italians too?

    Why Libya is really two provinces, OK way back in Classical times and only joined by the Italians in 1911:http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/68...o-libyas.thtml

    On KoW another historical piece and this struck me:
    ..the need to consider the psychological effects of having NATO warplanes bomb yet another Muslim country...what are the likely psychological effects of the fact that this intervention marks the 100th anniversary of the first-ever instance of aerial bombardment, carried out by Italy in Libya in 1911, and resulting (much as today) in apparent ‘collateral damage’ (then called ‘frightfulness’)
    Link:http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2011/03/lon...libya-history/

    Makes one wonder if the Italians recalled this history and tried to keep out of the coalition.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    BREGA, Libya -- Libyan rebels with military training began on Friday turning away inexperienced volunteers from the front lines here in an effort to salvage their battle against Moammar Gadhafi's better trained forces.
    The effort came as Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the leader of the rebel council, announced that the rebels would consider negotiating with Gadhafi if the Libyan leader withdraws his forces from eastern cities and allows peaceful protests. It was the most specific proposition for talks that the rebels have offered since the revolt began in February.
    The decision to separate the untrained and ill-equipped volunteers from the rebels' "special forces" is the first concrete sign that the rebel leadership is taking steps to bring some kind of organization to the anti-Gadhafi military effort, which to date has looked more like a weekend road rally than a battlefield operation. At the first sign of gunfire, most of the rebel forces dash to their waiting vehicles and race away from the battlefield.
    "It's a strategy. We have to do this," said a 32-year-old rebel who asked to be identified by only his first name, Jamal, as he waited at a checkpoint 20 miles behind the front line, where only fighters with heavy weapons were allowed to go forward. "The further you go (toward the front line), the more confusing it gets."

    Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/04/0...#ixzz1IKeZw6gu
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    Default Gadaffy, the bailout papers

    By God, we are a generous people.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...in-crisis.html

    All it took was the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, and the Libyan financial infrastructure became the primary OJT of Chairman Ben.

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    David:

    My guess, from a dumbass demographic, political, admin perspective is that eliminating Q just opens the next level of problems. What to do next about an otherwise divided country for which a dictator could gain and hold control for four decades.

    My guess is partition, but, that is an issue for Libyans, after internal post-Q deal making settles. Right now, partition is defacto, but they are arguing out the final boundaries (and underlying oil assets)-trying to take the pennies off Qadhafi's eyes before he is even dead.

    Much is still in play, but not our game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post
    David:

    My guess, from a dumbass demographic, political, admin perspective is that eliminating Q just opens the next level of problems. What to do next about an otherwise divided country for which a dictator could gain and hold control for four decades.

    My guess is partition, but, that is an issue for Libyans, after internal post-Q deal making settles. Right now, partition is defacto, but they are arguing out the final boundaries (and underlying oil assets)-trying to take the pennies off Qadhafi's eyes before he is even dead.

    Much is still in play, but not our game.
    Does the same concern hold true for Syria? So what to do? Leave Gaddafi and Assad in power because of that? I suggest a more mature and less paternalistic approach to these countries should be adopted.

    As to partition. Yes the colonial boundaries distorted the reality on the ground in many instances. Only been fixed in Eritrea and Sudan so far (I recall). Nothing wrong with a return to reality to take the cause for much of the tension... but let them decide that for themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    JMA,

    Technically we're not doing CAS in Libya, but air interdiction. There is not, as far as we know, a ground element to identify targets and coordinate strikes (unless you count the grids I see coming in over twitter from anonymous Libyans, which I don't) so there is no CAS.
    That is why I said CAS type ground targets to differentiate between what is needed to protect civilians in places like Misrata and Zintan and the destruction of aircraft on the ground and radar installations etc etc.

    Clearly to comply with UNSC Resolution 1973 one needs to go beyond interdiction strikes. The failure to strike tactical ground targets (tanks, vehicles, troop concentrations etc etc) decisively in the early stages has allowed the Gaddafi forces to rapidly adapt to a highly mobile insurgent/guerrilla style of operations. The cost of this failure and the inability to protect Libyan civilians through tactical air strikes is depicted in the rising civilian body count.

    It now seems that by removing/reducing the air effort ahead of the advancing rebels and thereby allowing Gaddafi to counter attack was a cynical move to prove to the rebels that they need US/NATO aid and to get it they need to subordinate themselves and take orders and accept command from the US/NATO.

    To avoid the OPSEC Nazis it needs to be said that the SAS operations in Libya have been reported on in the media. I saw on CBS two ex-military types stating with absolute certainty that the same holds good for US special forces. So instead of looking for tanks hidden under bushes they should possibly be getting a little closer to the action in Misrata and Zintan, yes?

    This whole Libyan exercise is turning into a box-of-frogs and will result in another embarrassment for the US military unless someone takes the situation by the scruff of the neck and focuses on the mission.

    Someone should form up that smooth taking Admiral in charge of NATO and give him 48 hours to relieve Misrata and Zintan or he is on the next flight home. Now if there is no one in the top military echelons or the WH with enough balls to do this... get Donald Trump to do it.
    Last edited by JMA; 04-02-2011 at 10:17 AM.

  10. #670
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I doubt that all the causes are indeed just. In fact, like you, I know that many are not...

    The cost:benefit ratio is poor and we devote excessive energy to things that we not only cannot really fix but generally tend to make slightly worse and therefor devote inadequate energy to fixing our own shortfalls. So, yes, it's a problem and like J Wolfsberger, I'm concerned about it...

    I have no problem with the use of force or with interventions but I don't think it's too much to ask that we do all that wisely instead of foolishly.

    Or maybe it is...
    Ken,

    I believe we agree, my post was a joke.
    What J Wolfsberger describes is exactly what Carl Schmitt warned about in his critic of the Just War doctrine and I pushed it to its extrem.

    I do believe in R2P and the obligations for the international community to interviene to protect civilian populations against crazzy guys. But the way J Wolfsberger resumes it is quite frightening. And it's an open door to barbarism in the name of "Just" (Latin definition in legal language) and not a step to better wealth of mankind.
    I believe JMM could enlight us on that particular issue of how you turn a good positive rights (Droit positif) ideas into a crazy repressive system that set a norm which is applied by force to any deviant.

    Saying this, we are talking star wars and galactic empire stuff as for the moment we are in the very first expression of it in the realm of reality.
    What has to be done now is effectively to take the time to sit, look at how things went and how not to fall in the pit of either "no action" either "bomb everything we do not like".

    Let see what future brings in Lybia. Taking Daffy out is just the door step of a long journey.

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    Default Not primarily a legal question

    from JW
    We, the United States and NATO, are now engaged in an undeclared war against one party (or both parties, depending on what day it is) where the casus belli is a doctrine entitled Responsibility To Protect. Is anyone else concerned at what this precedent might lead to?
    Yes.

    from MAL
    The answer is simple: a military facism blessed by the Just Cause of the mightiest.
    I wouldn't use "facism" ("democratic humanitarianism" can be equally doctrinaire and devastating). And, I'd put "Just Cause" in quotes - it may or may not be "just", with strong views on both sides. E.g., the stance of the liberal and more to left UN members re: Rhodesia and South Africa (as to which, JMA need not respond).

    from MAL
    I do believe in R2P and the obligations for the international community to interviene to protect civilian populations against crazzy guys. But the way J Wolfsberger resumes it is quite frightening. And it's an open door to barbarism in the name of "Just" (Latin definition in legal language) and not a step to better wealth of mankind. I believe JMM could enlight us on that particular issue of how you turn a good positive rights (Droit positif) ideas into a crazy repressive system that set a norm which is applied by force to any deviant.
    The remainder of this discussion is probably best conducted privately over more than one bottle of Maccarthy-Moula (not the best of clarets, despite its noble name ).



    Regards

    Mike

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Did not know that particular "cru" and "chateau". Bt i'll have to taste it cause it's difficult for a reasonable person to refuse a Haut-Medoc.

    Thanks Mike

    M-A

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    Default Debris from Ireland's "Small Wars"

    You will find much current history under Chateau Haut-Marbuzet (the grand vin; Chateau MacCarthy is the second wine). Here's a very little bit on these Wild Geese MacCarthy-Reagh cousins (from the Wine Doctor):

    In 1825, however, these vineyards came to the MacCarthys, a family of Irish immigrants that included amongst their number wine merchants and the chairman of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce. It was the MacCarthy estate that would give rise to Haut-Marbuzet, but not until the middle of the 19th Century. The new Napoleonic laws decreed that estates must be divided upon their inheritance, and so it was that in 1854 the MacCarthy vineyard was partitioned into 17 separate parcels. It was one of these parcels that would become the Haut-Marbuzet of today.
    .....
    Within a few years [of 1953], he [Hervé Duboscq] was gathering together the original MacCarthy estate, slowly acquiring one by one a good number of the seventeen portions that had been created over a century before, including Chambert-Marbuzet, Tour de Marbuzet and eventually purchasing the original Chateau MacCarthy itself in 1987.
    .....
    The grand vin is Chateau Haut-Marbuzet, the second wine Chateau MacCarthy, and the Duboscq trio also bottle the wines of the other estates accrued by the family over the years as Chateau Chambert-Marbuzet and Tour de Marbuzet.
    The roots of these Bordeaux MacCarthy-Reagh in St.-Estèphe (Médoc) appear to go back the late 1700s (Dermod ou Denis), although the business was later developed by the issue of his brother Thomas:

    XIX/ Donal Mac Carthy (né vers 1680 ou 1690 dans le comté de Kilkenny), dit “ de clan Dermod ” [XIX Donal = petit-fils de XVII Dermod MacCarthy-Reagh, né vers 1605 + après 1649], écuyer, Marié vers 1715 à Limerick à Honora Long, fille d’Edmund Long, écuyer, de la ville et comté de Limerick ; D’où :

    1) Thomas MAC CARTHY, qui suit ;

    2) Dermod (ou Denis) Mac Carthy (13 avril 1719; Limerick + 18 juin 1796, Bordeaux), écuyer, seigneur de BEAUGE et de FONVIDAL. Marié Naturalisé français, maintenu noble d’extraction (1785), quatrième consul (1766-1767), puis premier consul de Bordeaux (1767-1768) et l’un des directeurs de la chambre de commerce (1767). Il siégea avec la noblesse (1789). Marié à Jeanne (de) Fitz-Gerald (v1730 + Bordeaux, 14 décembre 1780); sans postérité. C’est probablement Denis qui acquit le vignoble de “ château Mac Carthy ”, à Saint Estèphe (Médoc).
    Many of this and other MacCarthy-Reagh branches served in the régiment MacCarthy-Reagh (French Army infantry), and others in the French Navy and Marines.

    Regards

    Mike

  14. #674
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Rebel source tells Al Jazeera about training offered by US and Egyptian special forces in eastern Libya.
    US and Egyptian special forces have reportedly been providing covert training to rebel fighters in the battle for Libya, Al Jazeera has been told.

    An unnamed rebel source related how he had undergone training in military techniques at a "secret facility" in eastern Libya.

    He told our correspondent Laurence Lee, reporting from the rebel-stronghold of Benghazi, that he was sent to fire Katyusha rockets but was given a simple, unguided version of the rocket instead.

    "He told us that on Thursday night a new shipment of Katyusha rockets had been sent into eastern Libya from Egypt. He didn't say they were sourced from Egypt, but that was their route through," our correspondent said.

    "He said these were state-of-the-art, heat-seeking rockets and that they needed to be trained on how to use them, which was one of the things the American and Egyptian special forces were there to do."

    The intriguing development raises several questions, about Egypt's private involvement and what the arms embargo exactly means, said our correspondent.

    "There is also the question of whether or not the outside world should arm the rebels, when in fact they [rebels] are already being armed covertly."

    Our correspondent added that since the rebels appear to be receiving covert support in terms of weaponry and training, it is not surprising that they are not inclined to criticise NATO openly.
    Video here
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/af...443133798.html
    Last edited by AdamG; 04-04-2011 at 01:04 AM.
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    Registered User Oiten the Viking's Avatar
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    Default What to make of it.

    I still have to wonder. Now that we are involved and all the sudden there is a cease-fire talk in the works. Is this the equivelant of Desert Storm and we have to come back in 10-15 years? Did we just make a move that dusted off old enemies? I think that if it were only people looking for democracy, then great! But there are too many coincedences for me to overlook and say everything is innocent and just for freedom.

    Two things, in my mind, will happen this year.

    1. Muslim Brotherhood will show their true colors when these states in chaos choose new leadership.

    2. Israel will suffer a major attack from the results of the new leadership changes.

    Let's see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Makes one wonder if the Italians recalled this history and tried to keep out of the coalition.
    Absolutely David. The signing of the Bengasi (history is always joking!) agreement between Italy and Libya in 2008 has been followed by some kind of a flow of historical pubblications in MSM to back the rationale of that agreement. Actually the most cruel actions were not those of the 1911 war but those carried out in the "small war" at the end of the 20's till the mid 30's in a sort of pacificaton. That pacification operation involved the use of gas bombs and shells too.

    The real problem is that the pacification in the 30's regarded the Cirenaica where this rebellion is taking place. This is ons of the biggest problem between Italy and this new leadership.

    Italy was not in the political position to take any kind of leadership position in a coalition that seemed to have the use of force as is main instrument.

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    Default AQ & Libyan weapons

    An odd story IMO, which cites Algerian sources, that Libyan arsenals have been emptied and taken by convoy - eight Toyota pick-up trucks - across the desert to stores in Northern Mali:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...n-weapons.html

    So AQ's reputation in Eastern Libya will not locally be affected by such a move, taking weapons away from the front line into the deserts to the far south? Then there's geography, distances and logistics for such a journey. Eight pick-ups fully laden will make that much difference in Northern Mali?
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    I might be naive but the article says it happened several times, that they cross Chad and Niger... All that without being noticed?

    I mean, it's not like if there was no one in those places.

  19. #679
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    Default Few titles are more abused than that of "AQ"

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    An odd story IMO, which cites Algerian sources, that Libyan arsenals have been emptied and taken by convoy - eight Toyota pick-up trucks - across the desert to stores in Northern Mali:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...n-weapons.html

    So AQ's reputation in Eastern Libya will not locally be affected by such a move, taking weapons away from the front line into the deserts to the far south? Then there's geography, distances and logistics for such a journey. Eight pick-ups fully laden will make that much difference in Northern Mali?
    AQ is a very small UW headquarters led by bin Laden. Certainly they have been active conducting UW in Libya these past several years, and in Mali and Chad and other surrounding places as well.

    Our Intel community is far too quick, with the media in tow, to slap AQ stickers on the nationalist insurgent movements that have turned to AQ for the support that their networked UW operations provide.

    Based on no more information than what this article provides, this to me sounds like a handful of the nationalist insurgents from down in Mali are taking advantage of the situation in Libya to pickup some military gear from the Libyan army as it becomes available and transport it south for their own nationalist operations at home.

    AQ in this is probably much like a Special Forces A-Team, and is executing the same mission. There are probably 1-2 AQ operatives for every 50-100 insurgents providing guidance, advice, whatever support they can, and generally working to shape events to best suit the interests of AQ in the process.

    If I was in a Mali insurgent group, I would be up in Libya looking for supplies. Similarly, If were running the AQ "SF operations" in North Africa I would be using the chaos of Libya to both motivate my insurgent groups in other areas, and to leverage my own mojo in the region by helping them to attain weapons, ammo and other helpful kit from liberated Libyan military sources.

    On the other hand, if I were a US CT guy, I would have my eyes and ears open, as people are breaking cover to take advantage of current events for their own ends. I would direct my guys to very carefully seek to separate the insurgents from the UW guys, and to go after the UW guys to the degree possible, while leaving the insurgents alone. If I were a US UW guy, I would be attempting to get my own guys onto the ground to fill that vacuum and out-compete AQ for this role with the people of the region. I would then work to steer these groups toward non-violent insurgent tactics while the State Department got serious with engaging the various affected governments on reasonable reforms.

    I'm none of those guys though, so I will watch and speculate with the rest of the SWJ community... There are opportunities to be had though, I suspect we are not making the most of them.
    Robert C. Jones
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    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    You know I was watching some footage of the "rebel" fighters and that article by WILF sprang to mind, you remember, "The Toyota Horde". Toyota's don't seem to be doing the "rebels" much good (yes,I know WILF's argument was framed in a different context). Maybe we could supply them with Land Rovers? (Would that fall into the "arming" the "rebels" box or transporting the "rebels" box?)

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