SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Other, By Region > Middle East

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-01-2011   #1
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,136
Default And Libya goes on...

Today's item...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/2...-as-libya.html

Quote:
U.S. moves ships, aircraft as Libya fighting rages

Moammar Gadhafi came under intensified international pressure Monday to halt attacks on anti-regime protesters, with the Pentagon dispatching ships and aircraft to the Mediterranean Sea and the Treasury Department freezing a record $30 billion in assets tied to the embattled dictator and his family...

...Pentagon spokesmen didn't detail the purpose of the U.S. ship and aircraft movements, but the moves didn't appear to signal direct U.S. military intervention in Libya. Among the ships being sent, reports said, is the USS Kearsarge, which carries nearly 2,000 Marines and dozens of helicopters.

"We have planners working and various contingency plans and I think it's safe to say as part of that we're repositioning forces to be able to provide for that flexibility once decisions are made," said Marine Col. David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman...

..."No foreign intervention. We don't want to be like Iraq," said Ahmed Sukaya Pobaee, a lieutenant in the new anti-Gadhafi army.
I'm actually intrigued by the general lack of discussion on the Libyan situation here... as opposed, to, say, the Egyptian revolt at its peak.

I would not want to see US ground forces involved, but a no-fly zone seems reasonable, and it does seem that if at some point a specific concentration of pro-regime forces could be identified, a cruise missile in time (channeling JMA here, I know) might have a real impact on the calculations of others.

It might also be possible to offer air support to rebel forces in Zawiyah and Misurata, or to declare that government forces moving toward those locations would be subject to attack.

Might also be worth considering making a blanket offer to the mercenaries: anyone who jumps ship now gets a ride home and a little packet of cash. It must be crossing some mercenary minds about now that if the regime goes down the neighborhood would likely become extremely unhealthy for them. The big man presumably has a jet waiting to take him to some undisclosed location where he has substantial assets in place, but there would not be room for the boys on the street and the populace might be a wee bit hostile.

I have some doubts over the impact of sanctions in a case like this.
Dayuhan is offline  
Old 03-01-2011   #2
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,665
Default

I think long-term sanctions would be useless. Aggressive, short-term interdiction of aerial resupply for Qadhafi regime forces would probably be quite productive, though.

I think any active armed intervention should wait for either an invitation from a Free Libyan provisional government that may coalesce in Benghazi, or if Qadhafi forces turn the tide and are threatening to overrun Benghazi and other major opposition-held population centers. The retaliation that could result from such a scenario might look like southern Iraq post-Gulf War I.
tequila is offline  
Old 03-01-2011   #3
Fuchs
Council Member
 
Fuchs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,189
Default

What supply? They have all they need in their country.

A no-fly zone is tricky as well. The Iraq NFZs haven't exactly a good reputation, as they were mis-used to bully Iraq for a decade, long after the end of the short shi'ite uprising. The Iraq NFZs also artificially held an otherwise long-resolved conflict (Kuwait as liberated already) lingering for a decade.

NFZs are also an infringement on the sovereignty of Libya. The UN will likely not step over this Rubicon unless
- Libya is expelled
- Libya's Ghaddafi government outlawed as waging war against its people, not just its armed opposition (war crimes)
- another Libyan government than Ghaddafi's get international recognition (and agrees with foreign meddling in domestic affairs)


The principles of the UN are an important component of the national security for most countries, they're a huge red line in international politics.
The U.S. got away with violations thanks to its UNSC veto right, its networking with allies and its sheer size, but the potential for political power loss and backlash has always been huge.
Fuchs is offline  
Old 03-01-2011   #4
Stan
Council Member
 
Stan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Estonia
Posts: 3,817
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Today's item...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/2...-as-libya.html

I'm actually intrigued by the general lack of discussion on the Libyan situation here... as opposed, to, say, the Egyptian revolt at its peak.
Reading most of the current American concerns seems we’re content so long as the rebels in the east continue to promise oil flowing even if Gadhafi clings to power in the capital. I guess we all have our priorities!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
I would not want to see US ground forces involved, but a no-fly zone seems reasonable, and it does seem that if at some point a specific concentration of pro-regime forces could be identified, a cruise missile in time (channeling JMA here, I know) might have a real impact on the calculations of others.
It might also be possible to offer air support to rebel forces in Zawiyah and Misurata, or to declare that government forces moving toward those locations would be subject to attack. .
This one bugs me a bit. How do we claim to stay neutral in all this after we shoot aircraft down over a sovereign country? We hid behind some UN chapter in 1986 (barely), had no support from neighboring countries (for an over flight clearance), blew up the French embassy in Tripoli with guided munitions, and, we have no clue at this point who will emerge as the critical opposition.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Might also be worth considering making a blanket offer to the mercenaries: anyone who jumps ship now gets a ride home and a little packet of cash. It must be crossing some mercenary minds about now that if the regime goes down the neighborhood would likely become extremely unhealthy for them. The big man presumably has a jet waiting to take him to some undisclosed location where he has substantial assets in place, but there would not be room for the boys on the street and the populace might be a wee bit hostile.
Seems cheaper and very doable. Say 50K for him dead or alive !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
I have some doubts over the impact of sanctions in a case like this.
Fully concur. But, we froze his money (never understood who actually gets that cash each time we freeze it), so all he has left is to squander what’s available in-country before he sets sail for Venezuela to hang with Hugo (who wasted no time bashing the USA).
__________________
If you want to blend in, take the bus
Stan is offline  
Old 03-01-2011   #5
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,665
Default

A couple of interesting articles about the storming of the Benghazi military base:

In Libya, an unlikely hero of a youth-led revolution

The day the Katiba fell
tequila is offline  
Old 03-02-2011   #6
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,136
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan View Post
This one bugs me a bit. How do we claim to stay neutral in all this after we shoot aircraft down over a sovereign country?
At that point we wouldn't be neutral any more... but since Obama has already come out with "Gadhafi should go", that's already the case. It wouldn't really be about the military impact, more a matter of a visible action that would convince the remaining armed supporters that it's time to bail. Certainly we don't want to be seen supporting any opposition faction, but since we've already declared that we think he should go, a concrete step in that direction would not be inconsistent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan View Post
Seems cheaper and very doable. Say 50K for him dead or alive
I doubt that he'd let any of the mercenaries into a position to take advantage of that offer. He's crazy, but he's not completely stupid and there's no paranoia deficit there.
Dayuhan is offline  
Old 03-02-2011   #7
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,665
Default

Libyan Rebels Repulse Mercenary Attack on Eastern City of Brega

Libya Rebels Rout Gadhafi force attack on oil port

Quote:
BREGA, Libya — Rebel forces routed troops loyal to Moammmar Gadhafi in a fierce, topsy-turvy battle over an oil port Wednesday, scrambling over the dunes of a Mediterranean beach through shelling and an airstrike to corner their attackers. The daylong fighting blunted the regime's first counteroffensive against opposition-held eastern Libya.

At least 10 anti-Gadhafi fighters were killed and 18 wounded in the battle over Brega, Libya's second largest petroleum facility, which the opposition has held since last week. Citizen militias flowed in from a nearby city and from the opposition stronghold of Benghazi hours away to reinforce the defense, finally repelling the regime loyalists.

The attack began just after dawn, when several hundred pro-Gadhafi forces in 50 trucks and SUVs mounted with machine guns descended on the port, driving out a small opposition contingent and seizing control of the oil facilities, port and airstrip. But by afternoon, they had lost it all and had retreated to a university campus 5 miles (7 kilometers) away.

There, opposition fighters besieged them, clambering from the beach up a hill to the campus as mortars and heavy machine gun fire blasted around them, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene. They took cover behind grassy dunes, firing back with assault rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers. At one point a warplane struck in the dunes to try to disperse them, but it caused no casualties and the siege continued.

"The dogs have fled," one middle-aged fighter shouted, waving his Kalashnikov over his head in victory after the Gadhafi forces withdrew from the town before nightfall. Cars honked their horns and many people fired assault rifles in the air in celebration ...
tequila is offline  
Old 03-02-2011   #8
Stan
Council Member
 
Stan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Estonia
Posts: 3,817
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
I doubt that he'd let any of the mercenaries into a position to take advantage of that offer. He's crazy, but he's not completely stupid and there's no paranoia deficit there.
On the contrary, not a mercenary for that little money, but a common citizen barely making ends meet... like much of the entire continent. Wait til a common citizen obtains a hand grenade and chucks it into a market full of people only to steal a single fish to feed his family.
__________________
If you want to blend in, take the bus
Stan is offline  
Old 03-02-2011   #9
Surferbeetle
Council Member
 
Surferbeetle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,110
Default

From The Economist's Defence, Security, and Diplomacy Blog Clausewitz; The limpet's legions, published Mar 2nd 2011, 16:27 by M.S.

Quote:
Mr Qaddafi’s ability to move reinforcements rapidly around the vast country has already proved important. According to intelligence estimates, far from being the delusional loon he affects to be, the Libyan leader has been preparing for the situation he finds himself in today for many years. Unlike the well-equipped, albeit poorly run, air force, the nominally 50,000-strong Libyan army (most of whom are conscripts) has long been distrusted by the regime and kept on short rations. In contrast, Mr Qaddafi and his sons have built up a paramilitary force of some 20,000 well-armed and well-drilled tribesmen loyal to their clan and supplemented by handsomely paid mercenaries from Chad and Niger.
For those of you who are following the money it is interesting to catch glimpses of who is controlling what oil export terminal (and this is not a complete list):
  • Tubruq
  • Benghazi
  • Zueitina
  • Zawiya
  • Ras Lanuf
  • Es Sider
  • Marsa El Brega

Here is a twitter map and a google map of the current goings on.
__________________
Sapere Aude
Surferbeetle is offline  
Old 03-03-2011   #10
Surferbeetle
Council Member
 
Surferbeetle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,110
Default

Libya's Significance, by Mouin Rabbani, on 25 Feb 2011 at the website Jadaliyya, via a link from from the Blog The Arabist

Quote:
The abiding weakness if not absence of Libyan institutions to mediate conflicts and prevent new divisions from turning violent of course also means it can all go horribly wrong. Nevertheless, there are reasonable causes for optimism. The first is the extraordinary collective spirit, voluntarism, creativity, and unity of purpose unleashed by the uprising. A second is the likelihood that enough Libyans will reflect on their miserable fate during the past several decades and insist upon – and act to ensure the application of – iron-clad guarantees that they won’t be subjected to another lifetime of tyranny. Third, the regime’s desperate attempts to manipulate tribal and regional differences in order to sow division appear to have failed, despite a previous record of relative success. Last but by no means least, the entire Arab world is watching – and participating. Just as Qaddafi is unable to escape being held to account by his own people, so Libya will be held, and appears keenly aware it will be held, to the new standard of Arabism – including dignified governance – that is being forged across the region. Just as Egyptians began walking like giants after simultaneously shedding themselves of Mubarak and the stereotype of docility, so Libyans appear equally keen to walk with their heads high after years of being maligned by fellow Arabs on account of Qaddafi’s antics.

On the other side of the ledger Libya is and will remain a rentier state, and such entities have a tradition of producing absolutism and the means to keep their populations quiescent. But that is precisely why the Libyan case is of such significance. It is not Syria or Morocco, but rather the “Kuwait” of the Maghreb. More to the point, and despite its huge resources and small population, socio-economic discontent appears to have played a prominent role alongside political fury in unleashing the uprising. True, Libya is not a Gulf state and unlike the latter proved incapable of resisting the winds of change during an earlier revolutionary period. But Bahrain is already on fire, and the implication is that the prospects for upheaval in some of the latter’s neighbours – particularly Kuwait and Saudi Arabia – is more than wishful thinking. Why, indeed, do the potentates of such islands of eternal stability feel suddenly obliged to gift their subjects billions if they are immune to the Tunisian virus that has become an Arab disease?

Another noteworthy aspect of the Libyan experience is the significant role the diaspora has played in demolishing regime legitimacy. Reminiscent of the role played by Iranian students in the 1970s, and exceeding the previous efforts of overseas Tunisians and Egyptians, it has in this case been Libyan diplomats who have taken the lead. By vociferously deserting the regime they represent in droves, they have sent an unambiguous message to their compatriots that the ship is sinking and thereby encouraged others to turn against Qaddafi. Given the sheer magnitude of Arab diasporas – itself an indication of the staggering scale of misrule – and the visible impact of Libyans abroad, diasporas are likely to respond more energetically in future.
And for the oil futures crowd - or anyone who relies upon fossil fuels, Oil Declines Most in a Week on Arab League’s Libya Crisis Resolution Plan, By Grant Smith and Christian Schmollinger - Mar 3, 2011 6:38 AM MT, at Bloomberg

Quote:
Crude dropped the most in a week after the Arab League said it’s weighing an offer by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez to intervene in Libya’s civil conflict. Muammar Qaddafi’s warplanes bombed rebels yesterday as his troops fought unsuccessfully for a major oil port, and opposition leaders appealed for foreign nations to launch air strikes. Prices may be starting to hurt global economic growth, said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank AG.
Quote:
Crude for April delivery slid as much as $1.86, the biggest decline since Feb. 24, to $100.37 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $101.19 at 1:34 p.m. in London. Yesterday it settled yesterday at $102.23, the highest since Sept. 26, 2008.

Brent crude for April settlement fell as much as $3.26, or 2.8 percent, to $113.09 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the biggest decline since Nov. 12.
Quote:
Libyan oil production may not return to recent levels if Qaddafi is overthrown, following a trend set by fellow OPEC members Iran and Venezuela when their own governments last changed, according to a Baker Institute analyst.

“You could see, in the case of Qaddafi being overthrown, particularly if it’s violent, prolonged diminished capacity from Libya,” said Ken Medlock, an energy fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston, in a telephone interview. “Regime change, even if it’s good for democratic movements, it’s generally not good for technical industries.”
From the Financial Times Blog Alphaville, Why you really can’t swap Libyan crude easily, at all, Posted by Joseph Cotterill on Mar 02 14:07.

Quote:
We’d note the mention of Nigeria, of course, because its light sweet grades have been among those most favoured as immediate Libyan replacements, and might play an important part in any Saudi bid to support markets later on.
__________________
Sapere Aude
Surferbeetle is offline  
Old 03-05-2011   #11
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,547
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
I'm actually intrigued by the general lack of discussion on the Libyan situation here... as opposed, to, say, the Egyptian revolt at its peak.
Sorry, was busy monitoring the air warfare in Libya....and there is a lot of it.

The Libyans appear to fly less than they used to before the outbreak of the unrest, and their pilots behave...well, kind of weird. At least it is quite clear that there are two kinds of pilots there: Libyans and...well, "non-Libyans". Nobody knows who are the latter for sure. And the best the Libyans do have appears not to be around, or at least rather busy keeping their "peace of mind". Their actions certainly have nothing to do with their levels of professionalism.

Losses are quite heavy too. It's not only that two Su-22-crews ejected out of entirely intact aircraft (total of three pilots; one of whom was subsequently arrested by the rebels because he actually did not want to eject), or that two freshly-overhauled Mirage F.1ED fighter-bombers were flown to Malta, but it seems a Su-24 was shot down just a few hours ago. Helicopter losses should be even heavier, and might include one of brand-new, Italian-supplied, Agusta A.109s of the Police - shot down by small-arms fire over downtown Tripoli.

Anyway, that with the "NFZs"...Isn't there a very strange situation: my understanding is that the West - and the US public in particular - is actually fed up with foreign interventions. Yet, all of a sudden everybody seems to be thinking that the US, Brits and everybody else should intervene - so that, should things go wrong, everyone can also be critic...? ;-)

At least pull one of those antiseptic, "air alone" wars (which are a bit more messy for those on the receiving end, of course).

Now, like every normal person, I also love the smell of napalm in the morning - as long as somebody else is being bombed, of course. And it would be kind of "sexy" if the US would simply go in and wipe out the entire Libyan Air Force, wouldn't it?

But, at least as importantly... well, at least in my humble opinion...the majority of the Libyans I heard from prefer not to have any kind of foreigners "helping" them. They want to finish what they started. Even those in az-Zawiya, where Qaddaffi's thugs are in these hours doing their best to match the performance of Syrian "security" services from Hamah.

That aside, the rebels in the East are currently following the best traditions of their predecessors (sure, they replaced camels with Toyotas, Hyundays and KIAs), and are exploiting the ongoing desert storm for a very rapid advance towards the West. If everything goes well, they might reach Syrte this evening. And, from what one can hear from there, in-fighting between the Qaddafa and another tribe is already going inside that place.

Perhaps a very discrete air attack on the three of regime's brigades concentrated near az-Zawiya might not be a bad idea. Say, send a pair of B-2s and splash their tanks with a combo of something like 160 JDAMS. But, actually, the situation there is playing into hands of the rebels. Then, even though the locals are likely to lose their stand there and end massacred to the last one, they are causing heavy losses to the "crack" units of the regime too, and keeping them busy while those form the East can complete their part of the job.

So, I think it might be worth considering that the Libyans are capable of sorting out this one on their own too...?

One nice day, when Q's and cadavers of most of his family are going to hang from some laterns in downtown Tripoli, drying in the sun Mussolini-style (that is, provided the rebels left them intact once they get them into their hands), the Libyans will not only have something to be proud about, but also something that's always going to remind them what are they capable of achieving, if they all pull on the same string.

Last edited by CrowBat; 03-05-2011 at 05:34 PM.
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-05-2011   #12
Pete
Council Member
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Mountain, West Virginia
Posts: 990
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
Isn't there a very strange situation: my understanding is that the West - and the US public in particular - is actually fed up with foreign interventions.
The U.S. faced a similar policy dilemma during the uprisings in Hungary in 1956. If the last decade has reminded us of anything at it's that wars are a lot easier to get into than they are to get out of.
Pete is offline  
Old 03-05-2011   #13
Fuchs
Council Member
 
Fuchs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
Libyans and...well, "non-Libyans". Nobody knows who are the latter for sure.
IIRC Ghaddafi used Pakistani mercenary pilots in the past.
Fuchs is offline  
Old 03-06-2011   #14
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,547
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
IIRC Ghaddafi used Pakistani mercenary pilots in the past.
Pakistanis used to train Egyptian and Libyan pilots on Mirage 5s of the Libyan Arab Republic Air Force, in Libya, back in the early 1970s (before and during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War).

They might have acted as instructors when LARAF purchased Mirage F.1ADs and F.1EDs, in the late 1970s, again, but that remains unconfirmed. Eventually, the Pakistani connection functioned until 2004 or so, when the Pakistani Air Force bought all the remaining Mirage 5Ds and 5DDs (two-seat conversion trainers).

The Yugoslavs have constructed the entire Air Academy at Misurata, supplied more than 100 G-2 Galebs and J-21 Jastrebs for it (Italians then sold over 260 SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 basic trainers), and subsequently helped in maintenance of the same aircraft, as well as of MiG-21s - partially in Libya, but foremost in Yugoslavia. Large numbers of Libyan (as well as Palestinian) pilots were trained in Yugoslavia too.

Syrians manned two complete MiG-23 units through the 1980s, and - together with Iranians - maintained the LARAF Su-24 fleet during the 1990s (that's why some used to call the LARAF the "Syrian Air Force West" at those times). The Iranians were also maintaining the Libyan fleet of CH-47 helicopters during the 1990s.

The Soviets mainly acted as advisors at air base/wing level, during the 1980s, since the quality of work provided by their instructors (for MiG-23s, for example), was found insufficient and most of these were kicked out already by 1977.

But, that's all "past tense".

Most authoritative reports from recent times indicate the presence of Belarussian, Ukrainian and/or Serbian mercenaries. Sadly, my sources simply can't recognize the language they use while flying.

BTW, a Su-24MK was shot down by the rebels near Ras Lanoof, yesterday. The crew of two was killed in the crash. A Sudanese ID was found at one of them...
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-06-2011   #15
Steve the Planner
Council Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 827
Default

I don't get it about all this no fly and military stuff.

Do the math. Two million or so folks in Tripoli, a large metropolitan city which has no indigenous food/water supply.

Two million people need how much food, water, medical supplies, on a daily basis, to be happy and productive?

If ports are open in the east (where the oil is anyway) and closed in the west due to instability (and increasing lack of oil to operate things), how long does it take for events to play out?

International assets are already frozen, and could, for example, be earmarked for humanitarian relief to the east (but not to the west), so trade, and especially new weapons, will be chaotic at best, begging the question of whether even a naval blockade is critical. If no access to global credit, what shipments need to be intercepted?

At the same time, a limited, but well distributed, supply of hand-held devices (and IEDs) can stop the biggest of armies/air forces in its tracks, as we know. Chasing adequately armed, but highly dispersed, local opponents can break the back of any army not highly motivated, equipped and civilian-supported.

Didn't we learn all this stuff already?

Where are the main water/waste water supply systems feeding Tripoli?

Game, set, match.
Steve the Planner is offline  
Old 03-06-2011   #16
CrowBat
Council Member
 
CrowBat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haxbach, Schnurliland
Posts: 1,547
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post
If ports are open in the east (where the oil is anyway) and closed in the west due to instability (and increasing lack of oil to operate things), how long does it take for events to play out?
Obviously, this is the crucial question (i.e. how long can the regime hold out at the current rate of fighting).

Usually, countries have anything between 6 and 12 months of strategic reserve in fuels, something like 6 months in ammo and spares etc. But, here we're talking about Libya. Following the 1973 War, they were buying a lot more arms, equipment and spares than they could need in years.

Just one example: they purchased a total of 110 Mirage 5s in the early 1970s. Although a large number of these was sent to Egypt during the 1973 War with Israel (where at least a handful was shot down), and they saw plenty of fighting not only against Egypt in 1977, but also in Chad, from 1981 until 1988, etc., there were still no less but 54 of them in 1st class condition, with less than 1000hrs on their clocks when Pakistan decided to buy them, in 2004 (together with a significant reserve of spares, including some 50 spare engines). The Libyans never operated more than four squadrons of these fighters, and at least one third of the fleet was always kept in stored condition. They would regularly replace used aircraft with stored examples, and so on. Thus, none of the aircraft became "spent" even after 40 years in service.

Another example: at the start of the uprising in Libya, on 17 February, a transport loaded with 2,000 rifles and US$18 Million in cash arrived in Kufra. These weapons and money were destined to arm and pay the locals so they would fight for the regime. The locals "captured" (i.e. grounded) that plane, armed themselves with rifles, deposited the money at the local bank, and said "no thanks" to the regime.

Overall, there is really plenty of armament stored around various parts of Libya. Much can be found in a number of depots around Benghazi (like the one that flew to the Mars, two nights ago), but particularly so in the area between Syrte and al-Jufra, in central Libya, and then again around Tripoli.

Provided it can get enough fighters, the regime is likely to be able to go on like this for several years.

IMHO, only two things would make sense for the international community to do in this situation:
- saturated and permanent jamming of all means of communication in the hands of the regime (also cutting off all of its sat comms);
- total blockade of aerial traffic to and from Libya (impossible until last foreigners are out, and there are currently still more than 1 Million of them there).
CrowBat is offline  
Old 03-06-2011   #17
Fuchs
Council Member
 
Fuchs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,189
Default

I doubt that hardware is of much relevance in this conflict.
Determination (loyalty to your side, combat morale) are going to be more important in the next weeks.

He's no going to stay in power if only the equivalent of an effective light brigade sides with him.
Fuchs is offline  
Old 03-06-2011   #18
Steve the Planner
Council Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 827
Default

Crow:

I think you are starting to draw the bead.

Of those fighters and stores, how many are in Tripoli and under control?

In that whole scenario, what are the critical points than can be targeted?

You hit one---communications. But even that can be highly targeted, with jamming at minimal key points, and knocking out specific towers, all by low-tech rebels with hand-held or SUV-deployed arsenals.

The one thing that is overwhelming from Small Wars is how, under so many scenarios short of Big Army to Big Army, the vulnerabilities can be simply exploited in an environment without strong popular support in areas immediately surrounding critical facilities.
Steve the Planner is offline  
Old 03-06-2011   #19
M-A Lagrange
Council Member
 
M-A Lagrange's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In Barsoom, as a fact!
Posts: 976
Default

Quote:
I don't get it about all this no fly and military stuff.
Me neither, should not be that difficult to ground G air capacities once and for ever, with or without security council permission.

Quote:
Do the math. Two million or so folks in Tripoli, a large metropolitan city which has no indigenous food/water supply.

Two million people need how much food, water, medical supplies, on a daily basis, to be happy and productive?

International assets are already frozen, and could, for example, be earmarked for humanitarian relief to the east (but not to the west), so trade, and especially new weapons, will be chaotic at best, begging the question of whether even a naval blockade is critical. If no access to global credit, what shipments need to be intercepted?
Apparently, G can leave decades without receiving external support. The questio is rather how long it will take for them to get weak enough to flip the coin of popular support. In fact it can take ages especially as you cannot have a official blocus on basic life saving items as food and water.
M-A Lagrange is offline  
Old 03-06-2011   #20
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,706
Default

Well, there is the small moral dilemma for the West.

Qaddafi the despot in Libya is applying military force to suppress the insurgent segment of his populace.

Karzai the despot in Afghanistan is applying military force to suppress the insurgent segment of his populace.

We started off clean with Karzai, but allowed him to drag us into the sewer with manner of government we allowed him to create and operate, dedicating ourselves to keeping him in power as the situation continues to worsen. Supporting the leader rather than the populace; supporting the government rather than the nation state. Such are the slippery slopes of such relationships.

Now we have a populace standing up to the despot Qadaffi, who we have only recently opened relations with in the name of counterterrorism (which in fact was Qadaffi suppressing this nationalist movement with our blessing under the auspices of our global war on terrorism). If we follow the path we've taken in Afghanistan we pile on and help Qaddafi suppress the movement.

But we've painted Qadaffi as a bad guy for decades, so that doesn't fly. But if we support this populace directly, how do we continue to suppress the Afghan populace?

Or, probably more pressing in our government leader's minds: What happens when Dubai, the UAE and Saudi Arabia follow Libya? Who do we help there? The despots or the people?

My vote is for the people, but even as I cast that vote, I appreciate why "moral courage" is a value we hold up high, as it will take tremendous moral courage for the US to get straight so that we are on the same side of this issue on every front. At some point we need to do that. To support the despots who guard our interests while at the same time attacking the despots who either refuse to work with us or where our interests are low creates a strategic communications of such hypocrisy that severely damages our national image and influence.

When a sinner sins, no one cares much (right Charlie Sheen?). But if you are going to hold yourself out as some holier than thou entity, when you sin everyone notices. So we need to either back off on our rhetoric, or ramp up on our consistency of action IAW our rhetoric. Pick one. We've been playing a shady game of influence in the Middle East since WWII, the wheels started coming off on 9/11, and we are definitely dragging a axle at this point. Time to clean up our act.
__________________
Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
(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)
Bob's World is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Tags
al qaeda, gwot, libya

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gaddafi's sub-Saharan mercenaries AdamG Africa 12 02-24-2011 06:45 PM
Coupla Questions From a Newbie kwillcox RFIs & Members' Projects 4 02-09-2007 07:32 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation