WHAT NEXT FOR LIBYA? August 24, 2011Posted by wmmbb in North Africa.
It appears that the Gaddafi Government has been defeated, at least the rebels hold large areas of Tripoli.
There success was helped with considerable air support in the form of bombing and drone sorties from the United States, and some allies in the laughable alliance known at NATO. The UN Security Council provided the instruction to prevent the massacre of civilians but that did not stop the allies from engaging in regime change. There is a comparison with Iraq. According to the report from Democracy Now which provides details of the air actions, a former US general is now calling for ground troops.
According to The Guardian, there has been critical and covert involvement of the special forces from Britain and France on the ground. There was better coordination between the aerial attacks and the ground forces, which also organized and attacked from the West.Julian Borger, Chris Stephen in Misrata and Richard Norton-Taylor in The Guardian write:
Special forces played a key role in that close relationship, though UK government officials declined to comment on whether serving SAS personnel were involved, including acting as forward air controllers – directing pilots to targets on the ground. Reports that France deployed special forces to Libya have also not been convincingly denied. In addition, Qatari and Jordanian special forces also played a role, the Guardian has been told, while Qatar is believed to have paid for former SAS and western employees of private security companies.
Given that victory is imminent there is a real concern that the National Transition Council that leads will not be able to unite a country of 140 tribes and diverse supporters, including some who opposed the US occupation in Iraq, in developing a democratic political system. The damage to infrastructure and the oil industry will take time to restore.
Could it be that the preview of military planning, although it allows for many contingencies, does not encompass the practical problems of political rule, and so is more inclined to settle for the off the shelf solution of selecting the first available dictator thought to satisfy the needs of the intervention?
Yuriko Koike at Al Jazeera takes an optimistic view of the National Transitional Council, which is a point of difference from Iraq.