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Libya: The illegal “days, not weeks” war is in its third month

And mission creep continues apace because, as most military experts would have told you, you can’t change a government with a “no-fly zone” and only airpower.

So?  So …

French and British officials said this week that they were sending more than a dozen attack helicopters to allow for more precise ground attacks, particularly around Misurata, where loyalist forces continue to fire mortars and artillery despite rebel gains and heavy air attacks.

With no troops on the ground, NATO planners and pilots acknowledge that they often cannot pinpoint the shifting battle lines in cities like Misurata. “The front lines are more scattered,” said Col. L. S. Kjoeller, who commands four Danish F-16s flying eight daily strike missions from Sigonella air base in Sicily.

Unsaid in those two paragraphs, but reported elsewhere, are that groups of special operations types will be inserted to do targeting for the helicopter attack assets.  Yes, “boots on the ground”.

And why is this supposed war of days taking months if not longer?  Well, they obviously underestimated their foe and overestimated their capabilities.  Also, they planned for one mission and tried to execute another (no-fly and regime change) and don’t have the assets necessary to accomplish that real mission).  We’re now seeing them begin to understand that they may have bitten off more than they can chew – at least as they’re presently arrayed.

Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, the overall commander of NATO forces in the Mediterranean, said from his office in Naples that the allied mission has largely achieved its goal of protecting civilians, especially in eastern Libya, and has seriously damaged the Libyan military.

“Qaddafi will never be able to turn a large army on his people again, because it’s gone,” said Admiral Locklear, noting that the air campaign has wiped out more than half of Libya’s ammunition stockpiles and cut off most supply lines to forces in the field.

But the admiral acknowledged Colonel Qaddafi’s resiliency, and said that without sustained political and economic pressure as well, “the military piece will take a very long time.”

Not really  – if its mission is to establish and enforce a no-fly zone as we were told in the beginning.  And as is obvious, Adm. Locklear certainly isn’t talking days or weeks anymore.  He’s talking months and possibly longer.   Meanwhile, British papers are reporting the war of “days not weeks”, that their present visiting guest talked them into, is in the $1 billion to 1.5 billion pound range – a cost the debt ridden country can ill afford.  Makes you wonder how much longer they’re willing to wage it (even as they escalate their presence with attack helicopters).

Nice mess you’ve got there Mr. Obama.  So much for being against “dumb wars”,  huh?


Twitter: @McQandO


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7 Responses to Libya: The illegal “days, not weeks” war is in its third month

  • Qaddafi will never be able to turn a large army on his people again, because it’s gone…

    Well, that’s real nice and everything, but Godaffy – or any murderous despot – doesn’t exactly need a “large army” to turn on his people so long as he’s got a reasonably large number of armed goons against a more-or-less unarmed population.  The Syrians and Iranians* haven’t butchered their dissidents with MiG’s and SCUD’s so much as with AKM’s and clubs.

    Unless the “rebels” (A) are able to decisively defeat Godaffy and (B) are a helluva lot better at running a country than they are at fighting a war, Libya is going to become Somalia v2.0: a war-torn, bloody, impoverished failed state.

    McQNice mess you’ve got there Mr. Obama.

    It’s only his mess if MiniTru says so.  They’re busy breathless reporting of the “tell all” book about how evil and stupid Sarah Palin is, and how mean Netanyahu was to treat Captain Bullsh*t like a schoolboy.  The GOP is busy insisting that they want the federal budget cut by a big, big 0.0045% and they won’t accept a nickel less.

    This is why Orwell invented memory holes.


    (*) I know, I know: we’re not supposed to talk about that, totally different situations, Assad is a reformer, blah-f*cking-blah.

    • You are completely correct about the MSM.
      Of course, if we aren’t losing any guys, and we haven’t hit any wedding parties, it is sort of a non-story…like the no-fly zone in Iraq.
      No grim milestones to point out.
      Though those are now missing in Afghanistan stories now too.

  • “The Syrians and Iranians* haven’t butchered their dissidents with MiG’s and SCUD’s so much as with AKM’s and clubs.”
    As numerous Africans of various nationality can attest, rape, machetes, and clubs work really well, and are exceedingly difficult to target even with mutli-million dollar precision guided munitions.

  • It’s always easier in the telling than the doing.
    So much for the willingness of Congress to assert its constitutional powers.

  • You don’t hear about Libya anywhere though.  I wonder why that is…..?

  • We also seem to be down with the whole “targeted assassination” modality of “regime change”…which I thought was ALL a big no-no.
    Where’s Erp when you need him…???