NATO Fumbles in Libya

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On March 31, the Obama Administration gave command over military operations in Libya to NATO over French objections. The U.S. combat role officially ended but, like in Iraq, this declaration is nearly meaningless as American pilots continue to risk their lives. The U.S. is now engaged in military operations that are hamstrung by unreliable alliance members for the sake of preserving a stalemate.

The Obama Administration delayed action in Libya until it received the approval of the Arab League, the United Nations and NATO. It was eager to make sure the war was fought under an international banner, even though the U.S. would bear the brunt of the burden. The French government staunchly opposed giving command over to NATO, leading to fierce arguments between officials. France felt that it, along with the U.S. and U.K., should have political leadership over the war with NATO playing a supporting role. The French caved under American and British pressure.

It didn’t take long for fractures in NATO to appear after the handover. The French Foreign Minister and the British Foreign Secretary openly criticized other alliance members for not committing to the effort. Half of NATO’s members officially participated in the war, as did some other non-NATO countries, but only six were willing to actually carry out bombing raids with the other four being Norway, Canada, Denmark and Belgium. Many of the countries placed heavy restrictions on their military’s participation, forbidding bombing raids and attack missions and refusing to destroy certain types of targets like trucks. The end of the U.S. combat role decreased the amount of American aircraft available, such as the A-10 Warthog close-support aircraft.

The Libyan rebels quickly noticed a change and complained about the sudden decline in air strikes. “NATO has become our problem,” Abdul Fatah Younis, the rebels’ top military commander, proclaimed. He threatened to complain to the U.N. Security Council and said that he would recommend that the National Transitional Council suspend its partnership with NATO if the problems persisted.

“One official calls another and then the official to the head of NATO and from the head of NATO to the field commander. It takes eight hours,” Younis complained. He specifically pointed out the unwillingness of NATO to protect civilians in Misurata, which has been under siege from Qaddafi’s forces. “This crime will be hanging from the necks of the international community until the end of days,” he said. The local opposition government in Misurata is now asking for U.N. or NATO ground forces to save them.

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  • tre

    tell nato to halt air attacks on libya, to allow time for nato to talk to people, that have guns or heaviery weapons, that do not call themself rebels, or nato, in misurata,libya.
    immediatly talk to people, that have guns or heaviery weapons, that do not call themself rebels, or nato, in misurata,libya.

    Broadcast messege on there tv, radio, send radio,phone, dialog tools to non-nato, non-rebel, armed people in misurata libya. could drop it from plane, send on ship, unmanned vehical(rc robot), lrad(heard from 3000meters away) blimp seen from 3miles away(4823meters) put phone in bullet like case that wont explode when it lands, than launch from launcher. Light hologram messege in sky.

    dont continue or stop shooting at people that are not gaddafi and his sons, based on if Gaddafi and his sons leave power.
    do not fire agianst or attack gaddafi and his sons, if gaddafi and his sons, are not physcially abuseing, pointing/useing/shooting weapons at people.
    dont base if you will or wont immediatly cease hostilities agianst people that are not Gaddafi and his sons, based on if Gaddafi and his sons depart.

    • welldoneson

      can you post that again in English?

  • Skandinav

    Denmark has been bombing with F16s since the beginning of the campaign.

  • welldoneson

    Kumar, the "rebels" in Libya are Islamists.
    Don't believe me? Look at Egypt.
    Renewed diplomatic ties with Iran, broke off relations
    with Israel, want to tear up the treaty with Israel.
    The tragic part of that is that the Egyptians will surely
    get their heads handed to them if there is a war.
    You see, Moslems don't fight so good.
    Something about being told they'll go straight to
    Allah's side if killed in battle.
    Back in medieval times, these creeps depended on
    sheer numbers. That don't work no more.

  • welldoneson

    “This crime will be hanging from the necks of the international community until the end of days”, sez the rebels, who are solidly backed by Islamists.
    That's why lefties constantly refer to the war against Islamists as "endless war"; because that's what Islamists say.
    John McCain needs to STFU! It's his utterly inept and milktoast campaign that allowed the Moslem quisling to steal the White House. What an a$$hat.

  • exchangerates

    Our tourist president will no doubt address this mess right after he checks his NCAA brackets now that he’s back from checking on his boss’s Brazilian oil investments ….oops look like pappa george might be pissed off about something ….he locked Barry out of the whitehouse.

  • Fred Dawes

    This war Is madness but in a time of nuts its normal, And we may not really know who is on the right side or why it has happened. and think obama is doing us all once more.

  • crypticguise

    Hey, hey, ho, ho, Muammar Khaddafi has to go! Hey, hey, ho, ho, NATO is a "no show". Hey, hey, ho, ho, humm. What do Obama, Clinton, Rice and that other ditzy women saw about this "cluster fiasco"?