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Plans of military intervention in Libya looks increasingly real
Material posted: Publication date: 03-03-2011

After two weeks of fierce clashes in Libya it became obvious that the country is not just occurring anti-government protests, and turned full-scale civil war. At first, the world community was limited to condemnation of the actions of the Libyan authorities. However, after reports that the regime of Muammar Gaddafi applies a counter-insurgency aircraft, many of the leaders started talking about a possible intervention.

Original plans of Western countries to use their armed forces in North Africa (and even in Libya) were related to the evacuation of compatriots from war-torn state. On February 24, the first country that sent the military to the Libyan shores, Germany is: to promote the rapid export of 160 and remained there citizens of Germany had three ships of the German Navy and 600 Marines.

Soon about preparing a "military operation" in Libya, said Italy. On 25 February the Minister of defence, Ignazio La Russa, announced that the Italian command had the whole thing planned and awaits only the go-ahead to the Foreign Ministry to send troops to its former colony. The task of the military was the emergency evacuation of 400 Italians, stuck in the South-East of the country without food. It was also reported that the removal of Libya from British nationals from 20th of February to contribute special forces soldiers SAS.

However, until then all such requests were rare. In addition, the speech did not go about the involvement of foreign military in the confrontation with supporters of Muammar Gaddafi, or even on the coordinated actions of the Western allies on the evacuation from Libya of its citizens.

The situation changed almost overnight. Even before the European Union on 28 February adopted sanctions against the Gaddafi regime (the package includes freezing of foreign assets of the Libyan leader and his inner circle, the ban on entry of these persons in the EU, and a ban on the sale to Libya of weapons and means of suppression of riots), there is information about what Western leaders are working on a plan for possible military intervention.

Yet of all Western leaders about the readiness to intervene in the conflict in Libya officially declared Prime Minister of great Britain David Cameron. Calling the behavior unacceptable Gaddafi, he was the first to declare the necessity of closing the airspace of Libya by NATO forces and even encouraged the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance to supply Libyan rebels with weapons.

In addition, the British press, citing government sources, reported that the Cabinet does not exclude the direct use of their armed forces in Libya, to prevent the use of chemical weapons by the regime. There is speculation that Gaddafi has, in particular, significant stocks of mustard gas. Moreover, on 2 March, The Daily Telegraph wrote that SAS units are ready to quickly take the protection of Libyan stockpiles of chemical weapons. According to the newspaper, about the British army is planning to ask Washington.

Meanwhile, the closest allies of great Britain zeal of David Cameron is not supported - at least publicly. Despite the fact that most Western countries have generally supported the idea of intervention, but the opinion that authorize any transaction have the UN security Council. As a result, the Prime Minister slowed down, saying that his government was willing only to negotiate with the rebels.

For example, France, represented by the Minister for European Affairs Laurent Voce (Laurent Wauquiez), stated that any intervention not sanctioned by the UN, are excluded. According to Voce, the military operation of Western countries in Libya did not find support, because let me remind you about the recent period of colonialism. In addition, the West is risking to appear in the form of aggressor, which is engaged in a war just because Libya has oil.

Moreover, even the US made by the Cameron proposals have preferred to distance themselves. And President Barack Obamaand Secretary of state Hillary Clinton stated that all the legitimacy of Muammar Gaddafi has lost. However, according to CNN, at this stage, official Washington is considering only the possibility of a rupture of diplomatic relations with Tripoli, and this issue was not resolved.

Count on the fact that the UN security Council approve military intervention in Libya, is not necessary. Against such operations, as a rule, is China. About the "unreasonableness" of the intervention, was declared in Russia.

However, a number of circumstances indicates that the U.S. was willing to conduct a military operation in Libya without UN sanction. On 28 February, the Pentagon announced the regrouping of the American forces in North Africa, which actually means its a serious build-up. The U.S. Navy has already sent to the coast of Libya three ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier "enterprise", which soon must pass the Suez canal to join the Mediterranean-based Sixth fleet.

The U.S. military emphasize that no specific problems in front of them hasn't yet been raised. According to the official Pentagon spokesman Colonel David LAPAN (Dave Lapan), regrouping is performed so that the Navy could "quickly take action" required by the command. It is also possible the use of American ships for supplies to Libya of humanitarian assistance.

However, on condition of anonymity, the sources associated with the U.S. defense Department, confirmed that Washington does not exclude military operation against the Gaddafi regime. According to "Kommersant", the Americans are also trying to persuade its allies to support such an operation. Are among the most important allies - Britain and Italy. First traditionally willing to share with US human and financial costs of foreign operations, as confirmed by the present Declaration of Cameron. The second has bases in the Mediterranean, which would have been extremely useful for the operation in Libya.

On March 2 the air force of Libya has dealt another blow to positions of insurgents - Gaddafi planes bombed the city Agabio. After that, the rebel provisional government in Benghazi, called for foreign intervention up to the bombing of the Libyan air force bases. If Washington manages to win over at least some European States, such interference is not excluded.

However, the preparation of full-scale intervention, even if not supported by the UN security Council will require significant time. Most likely, in the short term, military intervention will be limited to the closure of the airspace of Libya. Such a measure, on the one hand, less costly, and would deprive Gaddafi's ability to attack rebels from the air, which will dramatically enhance the chances of Benghazi to win. In addition, this case will be much easier to enlist the support of the international community. A "reasonable" proposal to close the airspace of Libya found even in the Kremlin.


Konstantin Benyumov


Tags: USA , NATO , Libya , Africa

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