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NATO Fears War without End in Libya

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:45 AM
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NATO Fears War without End in Libya

The front in Libya is barely moving as the country remains split between rebels and Gadhafi's troops. The rebels are complaining of not receiving enough air support, but NATO is hardly in a position to ramp it up after the withdrawal of US fighter jets. The resulting stalemate underscores the lack of a clear strategy for the allies in Libya.
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American warplanes had hardly left the skies over Libya when the remonstrations began. "NATO has let us down," said rebel military chief Abdul Fattah Younis. As the rebels retreated in the town of Brega in the face of a heavy onslaught by Gadhafi's troops, there were no NATO planes in sight.

The withdrawal of the American planes, which flew more than half of the sorties in the first two weeks of the air strikes, has weakened NATO's potential force. With the organization having taken control of the operation, American planes are now only in standby mode, leaving the much smaller air forces of France and the United Kingdom to take on most of the workload. Appeals from the NATO leadership to member countries to send more aircraft have so far been met with little success. Only the British have beefed up their presence, increasing the number of its Tornado contingent from eight to 12. The French, meanwhile, are having to split their military resouces between two fronts now, with the opening of the conflict in the Ivory Coast.

But the Libyan rebels are not alone in their complaints: Within NATO, there is also increasing frustration at the slow progress on the ground. The seemingly rudderless attacking and fleeing of the untrained fighters in the face of government soldiers is causing the Western allies to despair, albeit not in public, because it looks more and more likely that the undeclared aim of the international intervention -- the removal of dictator Moammar Gadhafi -- will probably never be achieved.

And this mutual disillusionment suggests that the second phase of the civil war is now beginning. The situation which critics had feared from the start has now seemingly occurred: a stalemate. The rebels are strong enough, with the support of NATO, to maintain their control of Benghazi, but are too weak to drive on in the direction of Tripoli. The front is moving a few miles back and forth, but the split between the Gadhafi-controlled west of the country and the rebel zone in the east seems to be solidifying.

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:42 AM
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1. who'll be the first to declare:
'who could have foreseen this?'
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:48 AM
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2. "Fears" might not be the right term,
"Counting on" might be the better term. After all, the US is winding down one war in Iraq, we need another one in the hopper in order to keep the MIC well fed and sated.
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