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Thread: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

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    Re: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    IMO, it will have to be waged and won by Libyans. As noted previously, I do favor arms deliveries to the revolutionaries and could support a no fly zone. I do not support direct military intervention.
    Dropping beans and bullets isnít going to work. Neither will a NFZ. They are half measures when decisive action is required to stop Gaddafi.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Even if interests were not relevant, the U.S. lacks the manpower and resources to do so on such a scale. Much more needs to be involved to trigger such direct military support.
    Two carriers in a few days will destroy Gaddafiís ability to conduct offensive operations. The US has helped other nations under similar situations. Why not the Libyans?

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Apparently, aside from expressing moral support, the Arab League does not believe the situation warrants their military intervention
    Relying on them to do something decisive is wasted time.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    What you're describing is exactly what now appears to be a more narrowly-supported revolution, almost but not quite an East-West schism.
    Do you really find it surprising the Libyans in Gaddafi controlled areas are not rising up or protesting in the streets? They saw what happened to the last people who tried that.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Of course they have. But the defections do not account for anything close to the majority of the military, even if one excludes Gadhafi's two sons' battalions. Quite frankly, that's disturbing and it indicates that things are not as clear-cut as had initially been portrayed.
    I agree the exact percentage of defecting military is impossible to determine right now. IMO if the US or others would act decisively the defections would drastically increase. Right now it looks like Gaddafi will win so there is no reason to defect. There have been more than a few reports of Libyan soldiers refusing to fire on civilians. Is that true? Gaddafi is importing mercenaries for a reason. This may be that reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    World organization, be it the UN or previously the League of Nations, is ineffectual when it comes to major international peace, security, or humanitarian issues.
    The UN is dithering today on many issues like Libya. It hasnít always been that way. The world is in desperate need of a legitimate organization like the UN used to be.
    The national security of the United States can never be left in the hands of liberals.

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    Re: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    What is the point of a no flying zone since it obviously won't be enough to stop the Libyan military?
    I suspect shipping arms to the anti-Gadhafi forces might be more effective. As it has become clearer in recent days that the revoluton was not broad-based, I believe that shortcoming might actually be a more important factor than the dictatorship's use of air power in determining the outcome of the conflict. Given the risks involved, and a lack of a broad-based revolution indicates that risks of renewed violence even after the dictatorship were toppled would be very high, and lack of compelling U.S. interests, I don't believe the U.S. should get involved in offensive military action. That the Arab League, with far greater interests refuses to supply even the most minimal military assets to enforcing its no fly zone declaration, is revealing. The U.S. should not run risks that are disproportionate to its interests, simply to add substance to what is currently nothing more than rhetoric on the part of the Arab League.

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    Re: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    There is no contradiction whatsoever. A no fly zone is not contradictory with a position that the U.S. should not engage in strategic bombing, assassination, or other direct military intervention.
    You have made some good points Don but IMO adpst is right here.

    NFZ aircraft will be fired upon. They must defend themselves right. That will require sending in planes (wild weasels) armed with missiles to strike Libyan SAM and AAA sites. They may also be engaged by mobile air defense weapons (SAMs and AAA) fired from infantry formations and they will have to be attacked.

    A NFZ is a half measure that will not stop Gaddafi. We will end up destroying his air defense, the one set of weapons not being used against the rebels.
    The national security of the United States can never be left in the hands of liberals.

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    Re: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Mars View Post
    Dropping beans and bullets isn’t going to work. Neither will a NFZ. They are half measures when decisive action is required to stop Gaddafi.

    Two carriers in a few days will destroy Gaddafi’s ability to conduct offensive operations. The US has helped other nations under similar situations. Why not the Libyans?
    That might well be the case. The easier part, at least for the U.S., would be driving the Gadhafi regime from power. The far more difficult part would be what follows next. The resulting post-Gadhafi power vacuum would be dangerous. Given what has clearly emerged as a lack of broad-based support for the revolution (it's largely an East-West schism, with many southern areas also committed to the dictator), aspirations for more representative government could quickly disintegrate in renewed violence. The tribal differences are great. Animosities still simmer beneath the surface. A not insignificant share of the population has benefited greatly from the Gadhafi regime. Reprisals and counterreprisals would very likely follow the collapse of the dictatorship, quite possibly well before any sufficiently representative transitional government could be organized.

    Had the U.S. demonstrated a proactive military strategy that rapidily snuffed out incipient and highly probable insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, developments that should have been expected given the historic experience of both countries, the post-Gadhafi risks might be lower. But in both cases, the U.S. was caught flat-footed, fell behind events, etc. Toppling the Gadhafi regime only to see the country erupt in a multi-faceted civil war would not be beneficial with or without a U.S. military presence in Libya. It might actually be worse than the presently bad status quo if the instability spilled over into Tunisia and Egypt, both of which are more politically fragile than usual in the wake of major political revolutions that are still underway there.

    Finally, promises by various elements of democracy are not assured to work out. Indeed, those very same pledges were made in Somalia following the toppling of the Barre dictatorship. The January 29, 1991 edition of The New York Times reported:

    A spokesman for the Somali Congress in Nairobi, Ali Mohammed Hirabe, said the group was preparing to form a “broad-based democratic government.” Other opposition forces would be invited to join, he said.

    Months later, the country was gripped by anarchy and violence. To this date, the country lacks a central government.

    In the end, while I hope that the anti-Gadhafi forces can prevail (my concerns about their lack of broad popular support notwithstanding), that's a war they will need to win. Unless some development dramatically raised the U.S. stake in the outcome, I don't believe the U.S. should wage their war for them.

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    Re: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

    Lets look at a parallel to Libya in terms of civil war, rebellion and lives lost, IRAQ. In Iraq while Saddam was fighting a civil war with the Kurds in the mid 90s after Desert Storm, we had a NO FLY ZONE imposed over Iraq, it was designed in part to assist the rebels. It didn't work, only slowed Saddam's advance and before, during, and after the civil war he killed thousands and thousands of Iraqis. When the US invaded in 2003 was it a popular move? In some parts of the world yes. But after a few years? ****ing political and diplomatic disaster.

    How are Gaddafi and Saddam similar?
    Civil war? Yes.
    Possible WMD threat? More with Iraq but there's a tinkle about in Libya
    Brutal dictator willing to kill thousands to hang onto power? Yes.
    Does everyone know he's an ass? Yes.
    Everyone agree he's a murderer and crazy? Yes.
    Everyone in support of no fly zone? Yes on Iraq and just about yes on Libya.
    Everyone agree he should be gone? Yes.
    No fly zone in place? Yes on Iraq, no on Libya

    The two are similar in so many ways, and people will call for intervention in Libya with the same cheer they did for Iraq. "We'll be greeted as liberators!!" and in Iraq we were for a short while, but people got impatient, their standard of living dropped due to such a serious change in government, there was no police and not enough Soldiers to keep law and order, millitas formed for protection and to advance different opinions on gov't, through violence if necessary. There's no reason to believe Libya will be any different, and since direct intervention will just be a cluster-**** not to mention A FIFTH theater of war/deployment for the US, behind the US itself, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea, there's no reason to go in. What could we send on rapid notice? A brigade maybe? That cannot occupy Libya, and no ally is going to send enough troops to make up the difference.

    Are we really going to suggest a massive redeployment of global assets, some already in war theaters, just to create another Iraq? All for what? To attempt to install a democratic government in Libya when we aren't even sure that's what most people are going to want there? Because again all they are united about now is the fact they hate Qaddafi, most people haven't given serious thought as to what kind of government they would want.

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    Re: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    There is no contradiction whatsoever. A no fly zone is not contradictory with a position that the U.S. should not engage in strategic bombing, assassination, or other direct military intervention.

    There is a stark difference defensive preemptive tactics e.g., taking out radar installations, missile batteries, etc., to safeguard enforcement of a no fly zone, and offensive strategic air strikes aimed at shifting the battlefield balance of power. If a no fly zone is pursued, and my preference is for shipments of weapons to be furnished to the anti-Gadhafi forces, it is elementary that some preemptive defensive measures to allow for enforcement would be needed. I do not believe the U.S. should cross the line and take offensive measures, be they knocking out armored columns or targeting the Gadhafis. Those are things the Libyan people must do.
    The only way to enforce a no-fly zone, is to destroy Qadaffi's air assets There's no way to do that without, "direct military intervention".

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    Re: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    I suspect shipping arms to the anti-Gadhafi forces might be more effective. As it has become clearer in recent days that the revoluton was not broad-based, I believe that shortcoming might actually be a more important factor than the dictatorship's use of air power in determining the outcome of the conflict. Given the risks involved, and a lack of a broad-based revolution indicates that risks of renewed violence even after the dictatorship were toppled would be very high, and lack of compelling U.S. interests, I don't believe the U.S. should get involved in offensive military action. That the Arab League, with far greater interests refuses to supply even the most minimal military assets to enforcing its no fly zone declaration, is revealing. The U.S. should not run risks that are disproportionate to its interests, simply to add substance to what is currently nothing more than rhetoric on the part of the Arab League.
    Without the training an orginization that an effective military unit possesses, those weapons would be useless.

    There are four elements of combat power--firepower, communication, maneuver and leadership--if one those is missing, then a unit's effectiveness is greatly diminished. Lose two of those and a unit becomes combat ineffective.

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    Re: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The only way to enforce a no-fly zone, is to destroy Qadaffi's air assets There's no way to do that without, "direct military intervention".
    Not necessarily destroying ALL of his air assets, but at least eliminating his anti-air assets and rendering his air force impotent by cratering runways, etc. I agree, there's still an offensive element, it's still an act of war, and it still is direct military intervention.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Without the training an orginization that an effective military unit possesses, those weapons would be useless.

    There are four elements of combat power--firepower, communication, maneuver and leadership--if one those is missing, then a unit's effectiveness is greatly diminished. Lose two of those and a unit becomes combat ineffective.
    On top of that they need some serious firepower, it would be more than simply arming everyone with a rifle, they need anti aircraft weapons, anti tank weapons, explosives, maybe even artillery and vehicles of their own, serious stuff which not only requires training and leadership to use effective but also is very risky to put into people's hands whom you do not control. Who knows where a crate of anti tank missiles that disappears is going to end up?

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    Re: Libyan rebels urge west to assassinate Gaddafi as his forces near Benghazi

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    Not necessarily destroying ALL of his air assets, but at least eliminating his anti-air assets and rendering his air force impotent by cratering runways, etc. I agree, there's still an offensive element, it's still an act of war, and it still is direct military intervention.
    I think that would be a bad idea. What going to happen during the post war period if every runway in the country is unusable? It could inadvertantly create a humanitarian crisis, because of an inability to move supplies in a timely manner.

    Even so, that still leaves helos that will have to be lazed and blazed.

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