AMU Homeland Security Opinion

UNSC Passes Resolution on Libya

By William Tucker
Just hours ago the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution allowing for the establishment of a no fly zone over Libya. The purpose of the resolution is to protect Libyan civilians from the remaining air power of Muammar Gaddafi. However well meaning the resolution is meant to be it may be far too little and too late. Gaddafi’s loyalist forces have ran an effective counteroffensive aimed at removing the rebels from their recent western encroachment and ultimately retaking their stronghold in Benghazi. Loyalist forces have closed on the city in the last day and Gaddafi has threatened to retake the city without mercy. In light of the recent passage of this resolution, Gaddafi may up his time table making the no fly zone irrelevant.
BBC Map Libya.jpg

Throughout Gaddafi’s counteroffensive, rebel forces have largely retreated rather than face the onslaught from the better organized and better armed military. This raises a rather interesting question, can Gaddafi’s forces hold the territory that has been retaken. The rebel forces are not only made up of civilians, but also defecting elements of Gaddafi’s military. Since the military has shrunk in size and the rebels have in many instances refused to fight, it is becoming increasingly likely that this war could become protracted. Even though the western forces do have some latitude to engage ground targets per the no fly zone resolution they may not have a target rich environment that makes air power useful. Ultimately the rebels will have to hold out as long as possible and the west will be forced to take on Gaddafi directly. The just isn’t much leeway for any other type of ‘surgical’ operation.
Map: BBC

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