Saturday, March 19, 2011

Finally, some push back against Gadhafi's forces

We see yet another meeting happening in Paris yesterday, however there finally appears to be some real military action being taken against Gadhafi's forces.  The USA and the UK have used missiles against fixed targets in Libya.  Presumably, that means Gadhafi's air force and air defenses are now neutralized.
More than 20 air defence systems on or near the coast had been struck, said a Pentagon spokesman.

Let's hope the long suffering people of Misrata can look forward to some speedy relief now that outside forces are focused on their desperate plight. Benghazi is now being shielded by French fighter aircraft, who are just gearing up with some target practice on Gadhafi's tanks stationed outside the city.  Hopefully the people in Benghazi can look forward to a quiet night, although they well know their fight is still ongoing, and it will take some time to regroup and make some gains against Gadhafi's forces. At least now they have a fighting chance.

Gadhafi continues to talk the talk but not walk the walk when it comes to the ceasefire demanded by the United Nations Security Council.  He is clearly regrouping his forces and he continues to attack his own people.  It appears the alliance of forces against him are fully aware of these moves.  I look forward to seeing Gadhafi's face being bloodied by the alliance of forces - the only way the United Nations will get his attention.

The big unknown at this point is what condition the Libyan rebel forces are in.  Are they ready to advance, or are they demoralized to the point of being incapable of taking action on the ground. Do their leaders have the plans and the means to take this fight across Libya, not just the eastern part of the country? As was learned in Kosovo in the mid 90's, attacking ground forces from the air will only have limited success.  The Libyan rebels must be prepared to push back against Gadhafi's forces if they expect to take advantage of the no-fly zone.

The other big unknown at this point is what effect the attack by the allied forces will have on Gadhafi loyalists.  The rebellion will only succeed and gain momentum if Gadhafi loyalists decide to defect to the rebel cause.  A big part of the rebellion will also depend on how the residents of Tripoli react.  Currently they are virtually "locked down" by Gadhafi's security forces and isolated from outside news, so they know little of what is going on elsewhere in the country.  Rebel forces must bring the people of Tripoli into their camp if this rebellion is to succeed.

These are all very difficult targets for the rebel forces to achieve, but this must happen if Libya is to free itself from Gadhafi.

No comments: