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August 24th, 2011
09:25 AM ET

How are NATO forces expected to proceed in Libya going forward? General "Spider" Marks weighs in

Tuesday morning, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said that the end is near for Moammar Gadhafi's regime, stating that the war is "not over yet, although it's close."

"We continue to watch for flare-ups from around the country, where there are still going to be pockets of resistance," Lungescu explained. "We are also watching the chemical weapons and Scud missiles to make sure they are not used in the endgame."

These comments come as anxiety continues to increase about where Gadhafi's weapons cache will end up after the conflict is over. There are twenty thousand shoulder fired rockets, ten tons of mustard gas, and tons of raw uranium yellowcake in weapons stores in Libya.

Major General James "Spider" Marks comments on which of these weapons are of greatest concern to the United States and explains what role he thinks U.S. intelligence is playing in securing the WMDs on American Morning today. He also weighs in on how NATO and the U.S. military will be involved with the country going forward.


Filed under: Libya • NATO
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Matt

    The R2P will not be renewed, Russia sees NATO as an obstacle to a political solution so if the rebels lose air power they will be more willing to negotiate. But Khamis just wants the air power gone, without air power the rebels are nothing, even for the eroded capabilities of the loyalists, with air power negated he can maintain a certain force structure and capability until they launch a counter offensive. So NATO will have to continue bombing outside the UN, which will be taken to the UNSC but the veto used by either France, UK or US. Up until now this was under the UN, so the UN owns it, but once NATO is forced to operate outside the UN, NATO will own it, if you break it you own it, the UN broke it they own it and NATO is merely an employee doing contracting work for the UN. So much for Bush acting unilaterally, you will be doing what you criticized him for accept, he did it on his own initiative, you have done via blundering and are boxed into it.

    The main problem was the intervention was conducted when the rebels had lost the initiative and were on the back foot, because of that it has become a protracted conflict and there has been mission creep, it they had acted earlier there would have been less creep. Early on when the rebels had the initiative, a no fly zone would have been enough, 3 weeks later the US military were saying sand on the boots after the rebels had lost the momentum, and they were correct because this has been going on for 6 months. Early on there would be no mission creep and it would have been over in a month. Due to that a lot more people have been armed than we would have required, so the situation is far more unstable, that is called blowback that many guns on the streets in the hands of undisciplined young men.

    The US has less involvement in this and the US will not act unilaterally on this I do not Obama will do that and Congress will not approve it anyway when asks for permission for a war in Libya. After 2003 our relations with the Russians became problematic and they actively worked against us and it lead to a the Georgian war. This situation has the potential for the Russian to adopt similar geopolitical strategies increase their support for rogue regimes, Syria, Iran, DPRK, become overtly hostile to the interests of those countries that act unilaterally on using force in Libya. That is what the big reset was about, and Russia gave more support to working with the US, on Iran and even abstained on Libya.

    If the situation gets worse from insurgency or to a sectarian war, troops are going to be required and when NATO made the decision to let the capital fall, the military option over took the political option and sand on the boots was inevitable and unlike the US the EU cannot let an Afghanistan occur just over the river, you will face al-Qaida attacks similar to LeT in Mumbai and either way you will be force to send troops. In fact that is what al-Qaida would like to do draw the US into another 10 year war.

    The reason liberators become viewed as occupiers is because you have to enforce security the enforcement of law is a form of oppression to get compliance. Certain people do not want to comply for whatever reasons, some reason are ideological, religion etc. So they want you to leave and hostilities commence. The longer it takes to get security, the more the liberators are seen as occupiers. They liked us in Iraq because we liberated them from Saddam after the fall we let them run amok for a period, looting, etc. Once we decided to enforce security and start to set the political process in play so we could leave without chaos, they became down right hostile.

    So people are shooting at you over the security, for a place at the table politically and because they want you to leave, then you have geopolitical reasons, al-Qaida, foreign powers such as Iran, Syria etc. I mean Assad would like NATO deployed in Libya to protect his own kingdom and he would like to keep NATO there a while, Iran would use it to further its geopolitical efforts against the west.

    NATO do not plan wars they send some troops and work in the command, but the US planned Afghanistan campaign, Israel plans wars all the time and fights them, the US planned Iraq and then the surge and implemented it. As far as actually planning a campaign NATO has its cherry. McChrystal use to complain about the multinational force and how it was a headache to command and then the politicians are not united, both the French and UK are rushing to claim credit for the liberation of Libya and it is not even over yet. So NATO is breaking its cherry on actually planning a ground war and countering an insurgency. It also has problems at the command and control both at the political and military level.

    The other problem is that you are required to send troops and the TNC does not want them in country, but your interest outweighs their interests and troops are deployed against their wishes and outside the UN.

    August 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm |