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Thread: The new Libya: various aspects

  1. #101
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    As the dust settles -


    The U.S. launched 97 percent of the Tomahawk cruise missiles that crippled Gadhafi's air defenses at the start of operation. And throughout, the U.S. also provided about 75 percent of all the aerial refueling and reconnaissance flights and supplied key targeting and intelligence assets such as unmanned drones.

    "Without critical American assets this would not have been possible and I suppose one could argue that if the operation had to go on too much longer it also would not have been possible," says Ian Lesser executive director of German Marshall Fund's trans-Atlantic center in Brussels.

    "Clearly Europe was very, hard pressed," Lesser adds, "They were running out of stocks. The lesson really is that the US and Europe together need to refine their defense planning and procurement so they can get more for the amount they can spend."
    http://www.npr.org/2011/09/12/140292...ya-a-new-model


    In Libya, there's growing concern over the vast arsenals of weapons that have flooded on to the streets since Moammar Gadhafi's ouster. Warehouses of surface-to-air missiles, mortars and anti-tank mines have been looted.

    Soon after the rebels overran the headquarters of Gadhafi's much feared Khamis Brigade on the south side of Tripoli, rebels and ordinary citizens scavenged through a bombed-out warehouse on the base.
    http://www.npr.org/2011/09/12/140388...adhafi-weapons
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  2. #102
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    Default A Model Result

    Sadly, as history tells us, the Libyan matter is just beginning.

    As Robert Haddick reminds us in a piece for Foreign Policy:

    As we have seen in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, the greatest threat to the civilian population may come in the "post-war" period when the real fighting for resources and political power is likely to begin. It would be a bitter tragedy if the ouster of Qaddafi -- done in the name of protecting the population -- resulted in Hobbesian chaos afterward. If this occurred, the duty of "responsibility to protect" would seem to fall heavily on NATO. And that might result in pressure to deploy a large stabilization force into Libya, the very outcome the Unified Protector strategy was designed to avoid.

    The campaigns in Kosovo in 1999, Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003, and Libya in 2011 show that it takes surprisingly little military power to overthrow brittle authoritarian regimes. It takes more than air power -- in all of these cases, indigenous or outside ground forces were an essential element of military success. What has yet to be demonstrated in recent memory is whether there can be a relatively bloodless transition to a new political order without a large outside stabilization force. NATO leaders are hoping that Libya will be the first such case, or at least that they can keep thousands of NATO boots out of Libya. We'll see.
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...he_libya_model

    While wishing the Libyan people well, our lessons of history teach that the hoped-for final defeat of all opposition only marks the opening of the next and far more complex one.

    Already, we see the emergence of potential fault lines (East versus West Libya and their relative contributions to success, turncoats versus long-term opponents, and, the lack of tribal/regional agreement for what comes next (power, influence, resources, control).

    These are the threads that need to be joined into a fabric for a positive future. History shows this is a difficult process.

  3. #103
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    CNS, 22 Sep 11: Can Libya be Locked Down?

    In a post-Qaddafi era, who will secure Libya's chemical and biological weapons materials?
    ....Should Libya's emerging leaders prove incapable or unwilling to secure the chemical and nuclear materials, there is a moderate to substantial risk of proliferation, given the state of chaos in the country and the fact that its borders with Algeria—where al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has a strong presence—are relatively insecure.

    It is difficult to assess how the rebel movement will handle the transition once the fight against Muammar Qaddafi is over. However, it is possible that many of the international community's concerns—including stemming proliferation and terrorism—may take a backseat to the opposition's own domestic political priorities....

  4. #104
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    "Clearly Europe was very, hard pressed," Lesser adds, "They were running out of stocks. The lesson really is that the US and Europe together need to refine their defense planning and procurement so they can get more for the amount they can spend."
    This appears to be a huge example of loss of contact with reality. This person is living in fantasyland.

    To be honest, the fact that this quote hasn't been questioned or refuted so far suggests a loss of contact to reality among readers here, too. Well, either that or disinterest.


    How could a sane person believe that European powers were hard pressed by this left small finger operation over Libya? We could wipe the whole country with a single index finger.

    The European military bureaucracies were not hard pressed by the Libya thing. They barely moved. Some very specialised ammunitions may have run out, and some unusual fancy electronics support may have lacked - indeed, there was even a shortage of tanker aircraft (oh my god, they might have been forced to deploy to more close forward airfields without more tankers!!!).

    Yet, if we really had bothered to be serious and actually flex more than one of the very small muscles, we'd have deployed many dozen times as much combat power in a much shorter timeframe.
    Fact is, there was no need for it, there was no motivation for it, there was nothing really to be gained in it, cooperating with the U.S. is widely considered to be a nice gesture and not a sign of an own shortcoming and we didn't care seriously.


    How absolutely dumb does a person need to be in order to conclude on basis of this left small finger twitch that "Europe" much of which wasn't even involved(!) was "very, [sic!] hard pressed" ?!?


    Question: Is dumbness a requirement for getting into mass media news and commentary???


    Another question: How dumb does a journalist need to be in order to take a pro-cooperation's lobbyist's opinion on whether more cooperation is necessary seriously?

  5. #105
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Question: Is dumbness a requirement for getting into mass media news and commentary???
    The problem is much more likely to be the structure of the industry than the intelligence of individual journalists. To wit, everyone is on a deadline. And they really are. But that fact is an awfully nice readymade excuse to not ever do analysis or even simple fact-checking.

    Another question: How dumb does a journalist need to be in order to take a pro-cooperation's lobbyist's opinion on whether more cooperation is necessary seriously?
    During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq any mainstream news story about WMDs in Iraq made me turn progressively redder in the face. Some people saw and see media/government collaborationism there. What I saw was tantamount to journalistic malpractice, mostly through laziness and an effort to boost reader-/viewership rather than adherance to any particular political ideology.

    I had a university classmate from Kenya who was the son of a journalist. He would bristle a bit when he heard Americans say, “If you love your freedoms, thank a soldier.” He would say, “Don’t journalists have something to do with them, too?” and I would explain to him that nowadays in the States that was just a job, not a vocation.
    Last edited by ganulv; 09-23-2011 at 04:31 PM. Reason: typo fix
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    To be honest, the fact that this quote hasn't been questioned or refuted so far suggests a loss of contact to reality among readers here, too. Well, either that or disinterest.


    How could a sane person believe that European powers were hard pressed by this left small finger operation over Libya? We could wipe the whole country with a single index finger.
    Wow, what's the fuss? Why can't we agree that the Libya operation was a terrific example of trans-atlantic cooperation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Wow, what's the fuss? Why can't we agree that the Libya operation was a terrific example of trans-atlantic cooperation?
    Agreement or disagreement on that statement has next to nothing to do with what Fuchs said.

  8. #108
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    The White House announced today it planned to expand a program to secure and destroy Libya's huge stockpile of dangerous surface-to-air missiles, following an ABC News report that large numbers of them continue to be stolen from unguarded military warehouses.

    Currently the U.S. State Department has one official on the ground in Libya, as well as five contractors who specialize in "explosive ordinance disposal", all working with the rebel Transitional National Council to find the looted missiles, White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/nightm...ry?id=14610199

    Reading music :-/
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  9. #109
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default How the rebels evolved into fighters

    Hat tip to Abu M for an interview with a combat photographer and the answer to:
    The conflict turned nasty quickly. But the rebels improved over time. You had previously spent a lot of time with seasoned U.S. troops in Afghanistan and know the difference between well-trained regular units and the kinds of citizen militias that were fighting in Libya. Talk the readership of this blog through what you were able to witness in terms of battlefield learning and innovation.
    Link:http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawam...an-denton.html

    In summary:
    ..absolute belief in his cause...the belief one has to have in their cause to charge a tank with a grenade? You can't buy, train, or equip a soldier with that ...
    davidbfpo

  10. #110
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default Looks like they finally got Muammar.

    I guess a life in cushy exile just doesn’t appeal to some people. LINK from The Independent.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  11. #111
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    Gaddafi is DEAD!

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    Default Libya Update Roundup

    Libya Update Roundup

    Entry Excerpt:



    --------
    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

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    I love the narrative, here. "We found him in a drainage ditch and accidentally shot him a few times. Then we put him on a truck, and somebody accidentally shot him again and he died!"

  14. #114
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    MI6 role in Libyan rebels' rendition 'helped to strengthen al-Qaida'
    Britain is already facing legal actions over its involvement in the plot to seize Abdul Hakim Belhaj, leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who is now the military commander in Tripoli, and his deputy, Sami al-Saadi. Both men say they were tortured and jailed after being handed over to Gaddafi.

    The documents reveal that British intelligence believe the pair's rendition boosted al-Qaida by removing more moderate elements from the insurgency's leadership. This allowed extremists to push "a relatively close-knit group" focused on overthrowing Gaddafi into joining the pan-Islamist terror network.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...ition-al-qaida

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
    I love the narrative, here. "We found him in a drainage ditch and accidentally shot him a few times. Then we put him on a truck, and somebody accidentally shot him again and he died!"
    Having been around groups of armed, angry, effectively unsupervised young men when that mix of adrenalin and testosterone starts firing off, I don't see that narrative as anything unlikely or incredible. It's probably a reasonably accurate description of what happened. If there had been a credible acknowledged authority figure with the will to intervene on the spot at the moment it might have worked out otherwise, without one things went as one would expect.

    You can fault the rebels for not having fought their war with a properly organized and properly trained army, but I'm not sure how realistic that is. Hopefully they can develop those structures and impose some kind of discipline in the future - one hopes fairly quickly - but expecting that to appear out of nowhere is unreasonable. What do you think would have happened if a Kurdish or Shi'a militia unit had pulled Saddam Hussein out of a pipe just after his regime's fall?

    If the US and allies had decided to go in with troops and remove MG, things might have looked different and a lot of bad things might not have happened. A lot of other bad things might very well have happened: as we learned in Iraq, that model has its own share of problems.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Default A Lesson Repeated,

    at least to me, from the methodologies employed by the "Libyan Oppositon" (in quotes because it's not a monolith), is that the massive "lawyerly" volumes of International Humanitarian Law (e.g., as promulgated by the ICRC) mean spit to irregular forces wrapping up the first phase of a revolution.

    One conclusion (reinforced from this incident) is that tightening the rules (as some suggest) will only result in handcuffing regular forces who generally follow the ICRC guidance; and will have no significant effect on irregular forces (e.g., the LRA or the Libyan "militias").

    Another conclusion (also reinforced from this incident) is that rules of engagement (if they are to be effective) must be trained in, not legislated. The "Book of Genesis" here is Mark Martins, Rules of Engagement for Land Forces: A Matter of Training, not Lawyering (Military Law Review - Volume 143 - Winter (January) 1994; 295 pp.). Back then, he was a MAJ.

    --------------------------------
    It seems there will be more of this story - at least from Human Rights Watch:

    Libya: Investigate Deaths of Gaddafi and Son, New Evidence Heightens Concerns of Summary Executions (October 22, 2011)

    Libya: Apparent Execution of 53 Gaddafi Supporters, Bodies Found at Sirte Hotel Used by Anti-Gaddafi Fighters (October 24, 2011)

    And, analysis will continue of whatever cell phone videos are available - e.g., in GlobalPost, Gaddafi sodomized: Video shows abuse frame by frame (GRAPHIC), An analysis appears to confirm that a rebel fighter sodomized Gaddafi with a knife (Tracey Shelton October 24, 2011), into the mainstream via CBS News. You can make your own analysis.

    Regards

    Mike

  17. #117
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    the massive "lawyerly" volumes of International Humanitarian Law (e.g., as promulgated by the ICRC) mean spit to irregular forces wrapping up the first phase of a revolution... rules of engagement (if they are to be effective) [B]must be trained in, not legislated
    I'd like to think that's obvious to anyone, but I suppose it's not...
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Default I'd like to think ...

    both points are "obvious":

    from Dayuhan

    (JMM snip)
    ... [1] the massive "lawyerly" volumes of International Humanitarian Law (e.g., as promulgated by the ICRC) mean spit to irregular forces wrapping up the first phase of a revolution... [2] rules of engagement (if they are to be effective) must be trained in, not legislated ...
    I'd like to think that's obvious to anyone, but I suppose it's not...
    but, in truth, I don't think that's the case.

    For example, 1977 Additional Protocol II (not acceded by USA; acceded by Libya, 7 Jun 1978):

    Part I. Scope of this Protocol

    Art 1. Material field of application

    1. This Protocol, which develops and supplements Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 without modifying its existing conditions of application, shall apply to all armed conflicts which are not covered by Article 1 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) and which take place in the territory of a High Contracting Party between its armed forces and dissident armed forces or other organized armed groups which, under responsible command, exercise such control over a part of its territory as to enable them to carry out sustained and concerted military operations and to implement this Protocol.
    This AP then goes on to spell out in detail rules to be followed by both parties. And, if AP II doesn't apply (if the armed conflict is considered "international"), then AP I (not acceded by USA; acceded by Libya, 7 Jun 1978) applies with even greater vigor.

    I happen to believe that much (but not all) of IHL is based on an idealized dreamworld, where those IHL rules will be honored much more in their breach than in their performance. However, I can find all kinds of folks who believe the opposite.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Having been around groups of armed, angry, effectively unsupervised young men when that mix of adrenalin and testosterone starts firing off, I don't see that narrative as anything unlikely or incredible. It's probably a reasonably accurate description of what happened. If there had been a credible acknowledged authority figure with the will to intervene on the spot at the moment it might have worked out otherwise, without one things went as one would expect.
    It's certainly possible the official line is exactly what happened. But who can tell? If they'd straight out executed him, would the official line be any different? If he hadn't been accidentally shot to death--assuming that's the case--do we expect that he wouldn't have been executed in the back of the first convenient truck?

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
    It's certainly possible the official line is exactly what happened. But who can tell? If they'd straight out executed him, would the official line be any different? If he hadn't been accidentally shot to death--assuming that's the case--do we expect that he wouldn't have been executed in the back of the first convenient truck?
    I guess you could draw some sort of distinction between a spontaneous, thus "accidental", execution and a planned execution, but I'm not sure whether there'd be much point in it. He's dead, he reaped what he sowed, end of story. Next chapter in progress...
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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