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Thread: And Libya goes on...

  1. #461
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    The UNSC resolution permits the use of force for the protection of civilians and the enforcement of the NFZ. It did not turn the whole of the Libyan military into legitimate targets, or Libyas governemnt.

    The attacks on the air defence system are already a (predictable) stretch.

  2. #462
    Council Member Graycap's Avatar
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    In my opinion the future course of actio must will be the direct consequence of a political and strategic definitive agreement (or lack of) of the regional actors involved.

    The options could be three:

    - a siege like Irak in 1991-2003.
    - a Jawbreaker style operation
    - a direct assault

    I will begin by the last: if the western country are able to attract the regime in a direct offense to their assets (terrorism included) this option could become real. But it could be possible only with robust US involvment.

    The "jawbreaker option", within the UN resolution or not, could be the only one possible for the Anglo-French alone. But the Libyans are not afghans.
    They are not ready to sustain any kind of military operation even with SOF assistance. The risks could be very high. Anyway this course of action is the only one that could justify the French conduct of the diplomatic relations with their allies. A successful french UW campaign could become a real problem inside the EU. Given the Libyan "human terrain" anyone could be meddling and an Afghan style outcome is possible.

    The siege has a lot of problems and , in the end, it will require one of the other two otions. But the siege could help in building a broad alliance and a more clear political landscape for the after-Gheddafi phase.

  3. #463
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Hopefully the US keeps (or puts?) its eye on the big picture. For the US, Libya is not about Libya. Once we lose that perspective and get sucked into operations in Libya for Libya's sake we are screwed.

    But once we give a problem to the military such "target fixation" and tactical focus becomes inevitable. The primary effects the US needs to shape from our operations in Libya are on the Arabian Peninsula. Those populaces and those governments currently teetering on the edge are the Main Effort effect of this operation.

    The main effort belongs to CENTCOM. Who is running Libya operations? AFRICOM? Has AFRICOM been told that they are a main effort (over Iraq and Afghanistan) operation in Libya to produce main effort effects on the Arabian Peninsula??? I highly doubt it. I suspect that AFRICOM is currently all Gung ho to make the best of their opportunity to show what they can do, and are almost completely focused on Libya operations for Libyan effects, and possible glancing at neighbor states, and even less so at the Arabian Peninsula.

    AFRICOM intel guys are rolling out grand PowerPoint briefs twice a day for their commander, primary focus on the disposition and status assessed of Qaddafi's forces, and secondary on the main "violent extremist organizations" in the region that they have been shaping and tracking these past few years. Is he getting equal or greater coverage of what effects he needs to be creating among the people and governments of the AP, and how his operations in Libya are assessed to be shaping those effects?? I highly doubt it.

    Who coordinates this seam and ensures balance and perspective are maintained? The same people who coordinate the seam between Pakistan and India??? God help us.

    But before we can keep our eye on the prize, we must first recognize what the prize is. The big prize is if we can help shape conditions in Libya so as to transition from violent revolution of government to non-violent evolution of government. This is what will communicate to the populaces and governments on the AP the critical message:

    1. Continued oppression of populaces and suppression of revolution is no longer acceptable if one is to enjoy the support of the U.S.

    2. Current leaders need not fear for their lives or US support of their overthrow; but only if they open doors to true evolution of governance in open talks with Representatives from across their national body of stake holders. Promises of amnesty for the worst, to continuation in power for the acceptable (as measured by their own people, not by any foreign body) must be clearly communicated and enforced.

    3. Populaces need not either submit to oppression in fear, nor rise up in violent revolution as their two options. They must develop trust (in a no-trust environment) that they can come forward, engage in reasonable ways IAW their custom, to voice grievances and work toward solutions.


    But if we get target locked, and slide into violent regime change of Libya, we need to be prepared to do the same thing in the UAE or Jordan, or Saudi Arabia. I don't think we are, as we know it is inappropriate there. News Flash: It is inappropriate in Libya as well.

    This is either a tremendous opportunity to make these three North African revolts into the lever that finally allows us to move the GWOT forward; or it is the pit we fall into trapped by our old ways and make the GWOT worse. That is not something any GCC should hold in their hands, particularly if they don't even realize they are holding it.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 03-22-2011 at 11:55 AM.
    Robert C. Jones
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  4. #464
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    How is it possible that there is doubt whether Gaddafi is a legitimate target or not? Ends up with General Sir David Richards, the Chief of the Defence Staff getting slapped down for stating on TV that:

    The yanks also seem to be a bit vague on the matter.
    Mike could clarify, but I believe that specifically targeting a foreign head of state has certain legal implications, at least under US law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The attacks on the air defence system are already a (predictable) stretch.
    Essential, and therefore predictable. The Pentagon made it clear from the start that a no-fly zone and the use of air power to protect civilians from ground attack would require attacks on air defenses. Not reasonable to put aircraft and pilots in harm's way without taking the most elementary steps necessary to keep them as safe as possible.

  5. #465
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    Obama has been really snookered on this one. Its a terrible mistake, though the human cost may still be low if someone does shoot Gaddafi in the head soon.
    Forget the left wing objections, this doesnt even pass the plutocracy's tests. What money will America's elite make off this half-assed and confused "intervention"?
    And of course, its as blatantly unconstitutional as most other wars since forever..

  6. #466
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    Posted by Bob's World
    Hopefully the US keeps (or puts?) its eye on the big picture. For the US, Libya is not about Libya. Once we lose that perspective and get sucked into operations in Libya for Libya's sake we are screwed.

    But once we give a problem to the military such "target fixation" and tactical focus becomes inevitable.
    Couldn't agree more, and one more beat on my drum about our inability to develop and implement strategy at the national level. At best national leaders come up with a policy, and then it is developed into a strategy by the GCC (almost entirely military) and as stated it becomes all about target fixation. We can always hope that we'll have desirable 2d and 3d order effects that impact the bigger picture, but after watching this unfold in the open press for a few days now it does appear to be somewhat aimless and confused.

  7. #467
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    The Pentagon made it clear from the start that a no-fly zone and the use of air power to protect civilians from ground attack would require attacks on air defenses. Not reasonable to put aircraft and pilots in harm's way without taking the most elementary steps necessary to keep them as safe as possible.
    I disagree. The DEAD (destruction enemy air defences) phase has become a custom, it was no necessity. Most of those air defence missiles are 1960's vintage, they could probably not even kill civilian aircraft any more.

    If someone had challenged me to fly in a Learjet over those air defences in a 1 : 1 million bet, I would have accepted. To survive the landing would have been the biggest challenge to me.

  8. #468
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I disagree. The DEAD (destruction enemy air defences) phase has become a custom, it was no necessity. Most of those air defence missiles are 1960's vintage, they could probably not even kill civilian aircraft any more.

    If someone had challenged me to fly in a Learjet over those air defences in a 1 : 1 million bet, I would have accepted. To survive the landing would have been the biggest challenge to me.
    Rapid Deceleration can be a bitch. I recall as a cadet some Blackhat sharing that some large percentage, like 95% of airborne injuries are caused by impact with the ground. "no Sh*$", I thought.

    but you are right. This is the air version of everyone in 90 lbs of body armor and riding in big fat MRAPs. But what civilian is going to challenge a DOD assessent by a commander who demands these actions to protect his troops? It is a culture internal to Dod that has gotten out of control.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "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)

  9. #469
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Couldn't agree more, and one more beat on my drum about our inability to develop and implement strategy at the national level. At best national leaders come up with a policy, and then it is developed into a strategy by the GCC (almost entirely military) and as stated it becomes all about target fixation. We can always hope that we'll have desirable 2d and 3d order effects that impact the bigger picture, but after watching this unfold in the open press for a few days now it does appear to be somewhat aimless and confused.
    Yes, what we appear to be doing is using Airpower to set the conditions of victory for the Rebel forces. We established Air Superiority, relieved pressure on the ground force and now we should pound his(Daffy's) Logistics. All while hoping for Robin Hood to appear and consolidate the Rebels, allow them to kill Daffy and his thugs (not us) and establish some type of future Government acceptable to all parties. Unfortunately as they say "Hope" is not a course of action or much of a Strategy.

  10. #470
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    If someone had challenged me to fly in a Learjet over those air defences in a 1 € : 1 million € bet, I would have accepted. To survive the landing would have been the biggest challenge to me.
    However, you are suggesting we bet the lives of U.S. and allied pilots. Not one many of us are willing to take.

    On the other hand, asking us to bet your life would be fine.

    (And any landing is just a controlled crash you walked away from. )
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  11. #471
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    However, you are suggesting we bet the lives of U.S. and allied pilots. Not one many of us are willing to take.
    Really? Then why are they flying at all?
    Even the launch of a cruise missile from a ship entails some risk. Think of circle-running torpedoes...

  12. #472
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post

    On the other hand, asking us to bet your life would be fine.
    Yes, he should really go try his theory out

  13. #473
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I disagree. The DEAD (destruction enemy air defences) phase has become a custom, it was no necessity. Most of those air defence missiles are 1960's vintage, they could probably not even kill civilian aircraft any more.

    If someone had challenged me to fly in a Learjet over those air defences in a 1 : 1 million bet, I would have accepted. To survive the landing would have been the biggest challenge to me.
    Personally, I wouldn't make that bet with you because dead men usually don't pay their debts.

    Seriously though, it's a question of degree. If you're suggesting that we can simply ignore the air defenses because they are old, then you'd be flat wrong. However, it's not necessary to completely destroy the entire air defense system either. At a bare minimum you'd have to destroy the SA-5 sites to protect the AWACs and tankers. You'd probably want to take out the other longer-ranged SAMs - otherwise you are going to need SEAD aircraft available whenever you've got aircraft flying in threat envelopes and you're not going to fly certain types of aircraft in those envelopes at all (specifically ISR).

    At the end of the day, simply ignoring weapons systems that you know are going to be shooting at you and assuming they can't shoot you down seems both arrogant and dumb.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  14. #474
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I disagree. The DEAD (destruction enemy air defences) phase has become a custom, it was no necessity. Most of those air defence missiles are 1960's vintage, they could probably not even kill civilian aircraft any more.

    If someone had challenged me to fly in a Learjet over those air defences in a 1 € : 1 million € bet, I would have accepted. To survive the landing would have been the biggest challenge to me.
    There's a few Russian pilots that would disagree with you. Specifically, 1960s vintage (Russian-manufactured) SAMs that in fact challenged much faster and higher-flying aircraft than some Lear 40 or 85.

    I somehow doubt our western pilots want much to do with those conditions, and, I really doubt the current OIC wants anything to do with explaining why he/she didn't see it coming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Really? Then why are they flying at all?
    Even the launch of a cruise missile from a ship entails some risk. Think of circle-running torpedoes...
    BTW, the aircraft are just a tad expensive (to simply entail some "risk") !!!
    Last edited by Stan; 03-22-2011 at 08:42 PM.
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  15. #475
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    It looks like the DEAD campaign didn't destroy everything. I haven't seen anything to indicate the sites near Sabha were hit, nor the sites in rebel-controlled areas.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  16. #476
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    And Libya goes on Post # 458

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    But if we get target locked, and slide into violent regime change of Libya, we need to be prepared to do the same thing in the UAE or Jordan, or Saudi Arabia. I don't think we are, as we know it is inappropriate there. News Flash: It is inappropriate in Libya as well.
    vs.

    And Libya goes on Post # 36

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Meanwhile to merely wait and see who wins is the worst coa for the west. If Qaddafi wins, he will repay the lack of support in kind. If the rebels win without the west's help, they are all the more likely to lean toward AQ, MB and other Islamist UW groups who have been working this populace hard for years.

    There is no need to launch an air campaign against Libyan government forces, but certainly we should be postured to make that a credible threat to lend support to messages encouraging the military to either remain neutral or switch sides. Mercenaries fight for pay, locking down as much of the government's money and messaging the same may have some effect there. Some degree of UW should also be on the table as an option, be it direct or indirect, physical or virtual, CIA or SF.

    Maybe that super PSYOP guy from LTG Caldwell's staff can work some mindbender stuff up as well now that he is no longer employed brainwashing congressional delegates in Kabul...
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  17. #477
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    There's a few Russian pilots that would disagree with you.
    Georgia used SA-11 (Buk) to down Russian combat aircraft - that's a 1984 introduction system, far ahead of what Libya has. The Georgians furthermore did at least some training - not exactly what the Libyan forces are reputed to have done.

    The onboard ESM of all Western combat aircraft should suffice against the most likely ill-maintained, ill-operated 1960's technology monkey model air defence of Libya.
    If not - invite the arms industry executives and air force generals to an afternoon of taser product endurance demonstrations.

  18. #478
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Georgia used SA-11 (Buk) to down Russian combat aircraft - that's a 1984 introduction system, far ahead of what Libya has. The Georgians furthermore did at least some training - not exactly what the Libyan forces are reputed to have done.

    The onboard ESM of all Western combat aircraft should suffice against the most likely ill-maintained, ill-operated 1960's technology monkey model air defence of Libya.
    If not - invite the arms industry executives and air force generals to an afternoon of taser product endurance demonstrations.
    The modern day Lada looks different with its sexy rounded fenders and tail lights, but at the end of the day it’s still just a limited and revamped platform from the 60s.
    While we can argue that their inventory is constrained by Soviet-era systems and single-engagement radar, it still comes down to risk and cost of conflict.

    "Should suffice" doesn't sound like a military term for limiting rules of engagement

    BTW, I believe the SA-11 is circa 1972 high tech and the majority of Georgians fled their posts !
    Last edited by Stan; 03-22-2011 at 10:01 PM.
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  19. #479
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    The Georgians used two different SAM systems, both of them originated in the mid-80's and were far ahead fo for example IHAWK, which is far ahead of the crap used by the Libyans.

    The crap in the Libyan inventory is the crap that was defeated again and again since the 70's. Every single fighter ECM system in the Western hemisphere is supposed to defeat this crap, especially if the crap is ill-maintained, operated by ill-trained and unexperienced crews, positions are static for decades and thus known etc etc etc.

    If Western Air forces really need a DEAD phase first against such so-called "air defences", then it's about time to invite some generals and the arms industry executives and ...

  20. #480
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    Fuchs,

    Not all aircraft have ESM suites. ESM suites have limitations which is why they are never used alone. Just because a system is old doesn't mean it isn't dangerous. I seem to recall that the F-117 that was lost over Serbia was shot down by an SA-3.

    Libya's air defense is (was) pretty crappy, but the idea that coalition aircraft can simply ignore it is laughable.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

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