Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 30, 2011

Libya: Military Exercises As War Deception

In November 2010 Britain and France signed a new defense cooperation pact. Under the umbrella of the agreement a week long common air force exercise was announced in January 2011:

The French Air Force has organized a large-scale, weeklong exercise with the British Royal Air Force - which is expected to send over Tornado fighters, aerial tankers and AWACS aircraft - as part of the enhanced cooperation agreed between the two countries, an Air Force spokesman here said Jan. 13.

The exercise, dubbed Southern Mistral, will be held March 21-25 in France, the spokesman, Maj. Eric Trihoreau, said.

The scenario for Southern Mistral was:

SOUTHLAND : Dictatorship responsible for an attack against France's national interests.

FRANCE : Makes the decision to show its determination to SOUTHLAND (under United Nations Security council resolution n°3003).

UNITED-KINGDOM : Allied country as determined in the bilateral agreement. The United Kingdom supports France through the deployment of its air assets.

On March 20 the U.K., France and the U.S. started to bomb Libya. Southern Mistral was superseded by a real war:

Due to the current international events, exercise Southern Mistral has been suspended.

There is a long history of announced military exercises as cover for starting a shooting war. As we learn from the U.S. Amry War College pamphlet Deception 101:

Cover is the use of an apparently nonthreatening activity to disguise preparation for or initiation of a hostile act. A common example is the use of a training exercise to hide preparations for an attack. [...] In recent years, both the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and the Falklands War of 1982 were launched under the cover of training exercises similar to exercises which had occurred before.

The war on Libya, first planned as Southern Mistral, is not going well. France is now arming the Berber in the Djebel Nefoussa mountain range. Even this didn't proceed as planned and it guarantees a prolonged civil war - here Berber against Arabs - even if Gaddhafi were to step aside:

The drops, all at night and totaling perhaps 36 tons, included mostly light weapons and ammunition, he said. [The leader of the military council in the western town of Rujban] complained that rebels from the neighboring city of Zintan had taken all the weapons and were not sharing them with fighters in other areas. [...] The colonel said an intermediary told him on Wednesday that the French government was upset that the weapons were not being properly distributed.

This, like the very first bombing by the French immediately after the UNSC resolution 1973 was signed, is another unilateral French step which will lead to more strife within NATO. NATO had earlier ruled out arming the rebels. In a bit of balancing justice the rebels in the east managed to blow up their ammunition storage facility.

But back to military exercises and deception. What are we to think of this one?

Commander, United States Fleet Forces hosted the first of two Main Planning Conferences June 24, for Exercise Bold Alligator 2012, scheduled to take during January and February 2012.
Bold Alligator 2012 will be a large-scale multinational naval amphibious exercise conducted by United States Fleet Forces (USFF) and Marine Forces Command (MFC) that will focus upon the planning and execution of a brigade-sized amphibious assault from a seabase in a medium threat environment. The underlying scenario of this exercise is designed to emphasize the Navy/Marine Corps capabilities in undeveloped and immature theaters of operations.

As the Marines' hymn goes:

From the Halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli; ...

January and February 2012 may be a little late for invading Libya with ground troops. Then again, who knows how long that war will take?

Posted by b on June 30, 2011 at 12:50 UTC | Permalink


More likely to be Lebanon now that the rubbish STL indictments have been released. After all the Marines have "unfinished business" with Hezbollah.

BTW, you remember all that talk about "lawfare" a few months ago, it seems to me the principal proponent and user is the Israeli/US/UK government.

Posted by: blowback | Jun 30 2011 13:15 utc | 1

Incredible how low this blog has sunk. I mean, you fuckheads can't even support people who want to shrug off one of the most vile dictators in living memory. All you have to do is visit your local Human Rights Watch archive to remind yourself that, really, no, Qaddafi isn't an invention of the NYT.

If this were 1938, B would be writing blog entries railing against the neglectful reporting by "the western press" about the terrible privations suffered by diasporic germans in the Sudetenland.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 30 2011 14:33 utc | 2

You wanna back that up with facts, fuckhead? And exactly where is your "local Human Rights Watch archive"?

Posted by: DM | Jun 30 2011 14:49 utc | 3

@slothrop this is 1938, with everybody bowing to the bully's demands, everytime hoping he will be satisfied and calm down

which country has an imperialistic strategy, the Us or Libya?
which army is a menace to world peace, the Pentagon or Libya's?

wake up, please, slothtrop

Posted by: claudio | Jun 30 2011 17:17 utc | 4

I listened to a partial interview with Professor Rosemary Hollis on RTE radio, I worked with this woman in 1997 in Tanzania. She has taken the Libyan adventure apart.

Listen here:

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jun 30 2011 17:28 utc | 5

thanks Cloned Poster, she is very polite about it.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2011 18:13 utc | 6

Fuzzy question - I awoke to my radio having, I think, NPR's Morning Edition on --or it could have been earlier and would have been the BBC-- or...did I dream it?

I recall a report on oil companies working with, wooing, something like that, leaders of the Libyan rebels -- either late autumn or very early this year.

I can't find a report on that. Did, uh, anyone wide awake hear or read anything like this or close to it?

Thnx much.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 30 2011 20:02 utc | 7

Cloned Poster

Re: Hollis -- I really liked her advice to Europe and the US about "setting up" an economy in Libya (once or if Gadaffi is gone): They should let the Libyans figure out how they want their country to function, under what economic system. And that they should be a bit more humble and realize that the US/European system does not look qute as attractive as it once did.

Note: It's about a 12 minute interview.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 30 2011 20:20 utc | 8

dm, dont concern yourself, it seems slothrop has become completely demential

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 30 2011 21:11 utc | 9

Ah, I see our favorite apologist for the empire is back. Welcome slothrop. Still getting paid for your posts?

Posted by: ben | Jun 30 2011 22:59 utc | 10

Unfortunately we see the same old aggressive wars and plans for wars out of the Western Democracies decade after decade. Is anyone still trying to sell the theory that "democracies are peaceful"?

Posted by: joseph | Jul 1 2011 10:45 utc | 11

inner city press:

After France's weapons drop into Libya triggered a closed door fight in the UN Security Council on July 5, now a meeting of the Libya sanctions committee has been scheduled for July 7.

Initially, Western ambassadors said the criticism of France's action by Russia, South Africa and others could wait until the Council's July 11 session on Libya. But now there's a sanctions meeting Thursday afternoon. “Yes, that's new,” a Western Deputy Permanent Representative confirmed to Inner City Press on Wednesday evening.

In the July 5 consultations, participants tell Inner City Press, the United States insisted that they had drafted the Libya resolutions to allow for such weapons drops.

Posted by: b real | Jul 7 2011 4:50 utc | 12

The comments to this entry are closed.