Saturday, March 19, 2011

French Fighter Jets Over Libya

The French fighter jets began enforcing the no-fly provision of the UN Security Council 1973 against Gaddafi forces. The resolution authorizes UN member states to take “all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan civilians. The no-fly zone is expected to be the start of a major air campaign by an international coalition against Gaddafi’s continued rule over Libya. Strikes against Gaddafi forces are expected to start later today. The Europeans, the Arab countries and the US are expected to actively support the military action that is being led by the French.

UPDATE: European and US forces started massive air attacks against Gaddafi's air defense systems and other military target on Saturday. US forces fired more than 100 Tomahawk missiles from US warships and submarines at longer range air defense missiles as well as early warning radar sites and the command and control communication centers; while British forces struck 20 air defense targets around Tripoli and Misurata.


Anonymous said...

I am trying to undestand what this has anything to do with Iran? Libya and Iran have nothing in common and this news is front page together with Japanese news in most newssights.

Perhaps it would be better to focus on Iran related news or news that have geo political implication for Iran (Bahrain etc)

Anonymous said...

Western hypocrisy at its finest.Bahrain and Yemen are burning and all the "international community" do is offer lip service but when it comes to Libya, it's all out war?? Did i miss something here??

Any wonder why Iran continue to rise in the region despite their short comings? The west operates on the assumption that everyone in the region is stupid and can't see through what they do..

And the Arab league, which was supposed to be a mediator in all this have also thrown their lot with the west, again betraying their own people to look good in the eyes of the west..This will never go unnoticed and will backfire badly..

What's happening in Libya is effectively a scheme that was supposed to overthrow Qaddafi that went terribly wrong so the west now have to step in and manage it..It's a civil war now and backing one side against the other is very bad advice..Think Afghanistan.

It's more like slaughtering the chicken to scare the monkey - in this case, Iran..But this will backfire badly..

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 6:56 PM,

Our coverage naturally focuses on developments in Iran. There are stories so important globally, like the earthquake/tsunami in Japan that we do cover, albeit very lightly. However, in the past few months the entire Middle East is witnessing a historic political movement toward democratic rule and although they are not specifically related to developments in Iran but do affect the Iranian scene as well.

The Libyan case is actually quite relevant for other countries of the region. (1) The UN 1973 links military actions against a regime to its oppressive policies against its own people, the regional dictators must have taken note of this important development (2) Libya is a major oil producer country, the UN action against it show the oil producers are not spared because of the fear of oil price hikes (3) Libyan air defense systems are used in a number of the countries in the region and how the coalition forces are taking the system out is important to those following military and political developments in the region.

Anonymous said...

What Qaddafi lacks is a strong missile force that can really hurt his enemies.

The bulk of his air defenses are essentially stationary apart from the mobile AA guns but those are almost useless against fighter jets or cruise missiles but useful against helicopters and low flying air-crafts. His air-force, like any Arab state, is made up of a small clique of regime loyalist.I even heard the Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms stuff their air-force with members of their families as they don't trust their own people with such weapons.

What prevents the west from confronting Iran in such manner is the known unknowns of the Iranian military and Iranian military assets. They still don't know the number of missiles Iran has, the real(emphasis on real) locations of those missiles and their capabilities.

War IS based on deception and not waged unless the aggressor can be absolutely certain of the returns(profit/victory/whatever).Qaddafi happens to fall out with his western backers a few weeks ago and he's now paying the price. I'd be very worried if i were a western backed Arab dictator right now cos they can easily fall out love with you.

Anonymous said...

"I'd be very worried if i were a western backed Arab dictator right now cos they can easily fall out love with you."

Nobody ever loved Ghaddafi. It was a case of tolerating him if he didn't cause any more trouble (such as supporting IRA terrorists).

If you want to buy oil (or anything else) from a country, there is no advantage to the buyer in having the country ruled by a dictator, especially a mad one.


Anonymous said...

zach says:
March 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm
Libya: Lessons for Tehran

1. Internal cohesion and unity, more than it exists now, is a must. The government must bring in the Greens, at least the large segment who does not believe in violent overthrow and is pushing for modest constitutional and social reforms and freedoms. If we consider the results of the 2009 elections and subsequent polls as ground truth, this puts 30-35% of the Iranian people in the moderate opposition camp. Most of this percentage must be folded in. The rest, radical elements, MKO, monarchists, are too small to worry about and Iran’s security apparatus can then focus on them, instead of 30% of the population.

2. There is zero incentive to have diplomatic relations with the US. Gaddafi bent over backwards accommodating the West and we see what’s happening to him. In diplomacy Iran should focus more on those European states not sending forces to Libya (e.g. Germany), India, East Asia, and unfortunately, the totally ineffective and weak Russians and Chinese.

3. With oil prices at all time highs, Iran should invest heavily domestically in education, job creation, health, and the military. Every dollar spent on the military is one less dollar spent on well being of Iranian citizens, but Iran has been left with no choice. The West has gone mad again, and may go mad again tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I stress again that I am not sure this coverage is relevant to this forum given that the impact of the distruption of oil from Libya (around 400,000 barrel per day compared to 4 times that figure before) has already been absorbe by the Market.

With regard to air defence systems etc like almost all other Arab countries Libyans have neither the right weapons and more importantly the training and skills to deploy those weapons.

The only observation worth making is that unlike the so called moderate regimes like Tunisia and Egypt that fell pretty quickly, these dogmatic ones like Gaddafi in Libya will take longer. I guess chiefly for someone like Gaddafi who is back in the corner, there is no other alternatives.