Thursday, April 14, 2011

Libya - Stalemate

NATO's war of choice in Libya appears to be dead in the water as far as a final resolution goes.

Even with NATO airpower, the rebels lack the military muscle to defeat Khaddaffi, and while NATO has succeeded in protecting the rebel's base in Benghazi, the rebels haven't been able come close to delivering the coup de grĂ¢ce to the Brother Leader.Aside from Benghazi, the only other major city the rebels still hold is Misrata..which is under seige by Khaddaffi's troops and could fall any day.

What's more, the rebels are apparently broke. They're seeking a $2 billion 'loan' from their 'allies' to purchase food, medicine, and fuel ( yes, Libya) so as to be able to keep up the fight against Khaddaffi.

It is a little amusing, I admit, to see the British and French so engulfed in a quagmire of their own making after they prematurely dumped their good friend Khaddaffi and all those lucrative oil deals they made with him, figuring that the rebels were a shoo-in. Now that the rebels are on the ropes, they're stuck with them, and there's no real end in sight.

The US is officially still having American aircraft perform missions, but there's definitely been a ramp down, and Cameron and Sarkozy are screaming for more decisive action on the part of the so-called coalition.

That coalition, which goes by the moniker of The Libyan Contact Group and includes Britain, France, The US, and other countries lending military support held yet another meeting in Doha, Qatar yesterday , and agreed in a released statement that “Qaddafi and his regime had lost all legitimacy and he must leave power, allowing the Libyan people to determine their own future.”

What they're not agreed on is exactly how to go about that little task short of sending in ground troops, which no one really wants to pull the trigger on, especially President Obama.

To add to the mix, the Germans, who were sensibly opposed to the whole adventure from the start, have started a peace initiative to negotiate an end to conflict in partnership with the African Union.

The AU is not particularly interested in seeing Khaddaffi deposed, and sent a peace delegation to see him April 10 headed by South African President Jacob Zuma. The German emissary was Bernd Schmidtbauer, former chief of the Bundesnachrichtendienst ( BND), Germany's equivalent of the CIA or MI5.

The delegation met with Khaddaffi and his son Saif several times and Khaddaffi agreed to the immediate cessation of all hostilities and to negotiations with a view to "adopting and implementing the political reforms necessary for eliminating the causes of the current crisis," according to a statement issued April 10th.

What they're talking about is elections, where one of Khaddaffi's sons could conceivably run for President and win,given Libya's experience and tradition with western style elections and democracy ( and yes, I'm being sarcastic).

The problem is that the rebels, backed up by the British and French are refusing to consider any settlement that doesn't involve Khaddaffi turning over power to them immediately and leaving the country.And at this point, there's absolutely no reason for Khaddaffi to agree to that whatsoever.

Of course, any deal that leaves Khaddaffi in power, or might pave the way for one of his sons to take power would be a major political, military and financial setback for the French and the British, both of whom were confident of laying their hands on all those oil concessions at bargain prices once the rebels were in and Khaddaffi was out of the way.

Unfortunately for them, Khaddaffi proved a lot stronger and more durable than they thought, the rebels ended up lacking the punch and support needed for his overthrow...and the Brits and French are stuck with a losing bet on the wrong horse they're now desperately trying to turn into a winner.

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i wonder if any of mubarak's people in egypt are having second thoughts ............ if kadaffy could do it ......... why couldn't we?

B.Poster said...

".....if Kadafft could do it why...... couldn't we?"

Mubarak did not have the support of the military, the Egyptian government, Egypian intellegence services, or the Egyptian elite. Khaddaffi has the support of the Libyian military, intellegence services, and the Libyan elite.

Arguably even more important Mubarak had no support in the media to give his government legitimacy. Khaddaffi can count on broad media support. Furthermore Mubarak did not really have any "people." At least he didn't have any of significance.

If ever there was a situation that was taylor made for diplomacy, the Libyan siuation was it. I find it hard to believe the British and the French could be that stupid as to think the rebels had any real chance without significant outside support. The US does not have the ground troops to commit and it lacks the strategic depth in its air power to be able to maintain a no fly zone for an extended length of time. Were I a British or French citizen I would be a little angry at my government for throwing away valuable oil deals and for what? As an American I'm angry that we got involved in something that doesn't advance our interests and is using precious resources that need to be used elsewhere. Surely we didn't do this becuase the French and British asked us to. They'd never help us out in such a manner. In fact, they'd be thrilled to see America their "strategic compeitor" suffeer ill.

I have to believe that there is something else going on here that is not known. Anyone with an IQ of above .000005 would have seen what you write in the last paragraph about the rebels. In other words, you'd need to be dumber than a box of rocks to bet on the rebels. The prudent course of action for France and Britian would have been to do nothing and the oil deals are likely safe. Even if the rebels win, how do you know they are going to honor any oil deals. Far better to stick with what is known.

There is NOTGHING wrong with going to war over oil should that be necessary. Oil is vital to the functioning of a modern economy. A prudent government does all it can to ensure that its citizens have access to a stable and reasonably priced source of oil. Prudent governments do not jeopardize oil deals in the manner the French and British have in this Libyan war. Prudent governments do not ban production of their own oll and ga sources as the American governmet has.

Just who is funding and directing all of these "uprisings?" The only reason Libya's rebels had inital success is because Khaddafi's forces were caught by surprise. Libya's intellegence service are far superior to our CIA. How could they have been caught by surprise? Who ever is leading, directing, and funding all of this has core competencies far beyond any thing we have. I'd suggest we try to figure out who is behind this. This could have profound ramifications for us. It would be nice to know who we are dealing with.