Libya intervention passed to NATO’s leadership

The BBC reports:

Nato has agreed to take command of enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya from the US.

But Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen made clear that other aspects of the operation would remain in the hands of the current coalition for now…

The US initially agreed to lead enforcement of the UN resolution, but made clear it wanted only a limited role and would hand over responsibility as soon as possible.

But the handover to Nato became bogged down when Turkey made clear its view that action should focus directly on enforcing the no-fly zone and arms embargo, rather than allowing any continuing strikes against ground forces.

The resolution authorises the international community to use “all necessary means” to protect Libyan civilians, but the phrase has become open to different interpretations.

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  • So now we have split leadership for this military action which is a recipe for disaster on the ground.

    “The resolution authorises the international community to use “all necessary means” to protect Libyan civilians, but the phrase has become open to different interpretations.”

    Sounds suspiciously like a justification for mission creep and eventual boots on the ground.
    Civilians isn’t open to different interpretations, it means unarmed noncombatant, whereas armed rebels fighting are definitely not civilians, nor is helping them fight a civil war remotely sanctioned in U.N. resolution 1973.

    But we can easily check.
    “Let me say this about the issue of targets: targets must be fully consistent with the UN Security Council resolution. We therefore choose our targets to stop attacks on civilians and to implement the no-fly zone.” The resolution “explicitly does not provide legal authority for action to bring about Gaddafi’s removal from power by military means”.

    That’s what Cameron said to justify the Commons vote.
    So unless he and the coaltion want to become known for telling porkies about a middle eastern quagmire like Blair, he’d best not go back on his words or forget that regime change simply isn’t an option and anything that looks like it is going to turn even more of the public against this in droves.

  • John Basil – But that is part of the problem here. In and of itself an NFZ is nothing. At the moment we are saying that policy is to, ‘protect,’ (who is not clear) because the Libyan government is a threat. All well and good, but there is no endpoint to that. Either the man is an ongoing threat or he is not. What is the end point? Saying, ‘we’re off, don’t do it again?’ Without wanting to be glib, that is a more coherent plan than anything from officialdom.

    This intervention is wrong on every level – simple as that.

  • “Either the man is an ongoing threat or he is not.”

    The problem for those backing this war is that every time they cite the U.N. resolution as justification they have to accept that if they stick by it then the man cannot be touched by the military so whether he is a threat or not is neither here nor there.
    If he is killed by the U.S. France or the U.K. then that’s regime change and everything that then transpires in Libya is ‘owned’ by those countries so it’s nation building time again.

    Anyone who talks about killing Gaddafi being ‘implicit’ in the U.N. resolution doesn’t understand it.
    It might be what some people want the U.N. resolution to mean but it clearly doesn’t and Cameron and everyone else knows it. God only knows what this meeting in London next week to ‘clarify’ the mission is going to come up with as resolution 1973 also rules out any partition of Libya in it’s text.

    It’s also worth remembering that having a U.N. resolution behind it also didn’t stop Afghanistan becoming an endless intractable and bloody mess.


    no plans for ground troops…some think otherwise

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