Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 27, 2011

Libya Asks NATO To Keep Them In Or Out?

The Libyan regime is requesting further NATO help. (One wonders who gave it the idea.) But is not clear what the purpose of further NATO support should be.

According to AlJazeera the purpose is to keep Gaddhafi supporters from fleeing to neighbor countries:

NATO should stay involved in Libya until the end of this year to help prevent loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi from leaving the country, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the interim leader, has said.
"We look forward to NATO continuing its operations until the end of the year," Jalil said at a conference in Doha, the Qatari capital, on Wednesday.

Stating that stopping the flight of Gaddafi supporters to other countries was a priority, he said: "We seek technical and logistics help from neighbouring and friendly countries."

According to the New York Times the purpose is to keep Gaddhafi supporters from invading from neighbor countries:

“We have asked NATO to stay until the end of the year, and it certainly has the international legitimacy to remain in Libya to protect the civilians from Qaddafi loyalists,” the interim leader, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, chairman of the Transitional National Council, said in an interview with the pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera.

“Qaddafi still has supporters in neighboring countries, and we fear those loyalists could be launching attacks against us and infiltrating our borders,” he said. “We need technical support and training for our troops on the ground. We also need communications equipment, and we need aerial intelligence to monitor our borders.”

To keep them in or to keep them out? Which is it?

Libya's desert borders are too long to be controllable by any force. People will always be able to come in or leave the country without anyone noticing. Even if one could control the borders how is one supposed to differentiate between a coming or leaving Gaddhafi supporter versus the coming or leaving anti-Gaddhafi Libyan?

The situation on the ground is, as Tony Karon points out, comparable to Afghanistan in 2002 or maybe even 1992. There is no central power accepted by all parts of the country and the new government has no real power over the various militia.

To put NATO boots on Libyan ground would be the repeat of the NATO adventure in Afghanistan with, ten years later, a likely comparable outcome.

Posted by b on October 27, 2011 at 8:32 UTC | Permalink


they will have to if they want to get the oil flowing

I do not see that they will be politically able to - it will be a contractor's war ...
Some oil companies that operated wells and refineries in Libya before the war “expressed some skepticism regarding a restoration of production to full pre-war levels within the next six months,” according to Fadel Gheit, managing director of oil and gas research at the Oppenheimer & Co. investment bank and firm.

“Obviously, the whole country is in shambles … civil war, total anarchy. Nobody is in control,” Gheit said. “So it’s not, obviously, a situation that will encourage oil companies to hurry back to Libya anytime soon.”

Posted by: somebody | Oct 27 2011 8:54 utc | 1

more on they will have to if

david_bachmann_ AC Tripolis
I guess other #airlines will also not resume flights to #tripoli any time soon. but, i always like to hear positive surprises...
vor 1 Minute
AC Tripolis
david_bachmann_ AC Tripolis
#Lufthansa not to resume flights to #Tripoli before 1 february 2012 #libya
vor 2 Minuten
AC Tripolis
david_bachmann_ AC Tripolis
Breaking: Austrian Airlines not to resume flights to #tripoli before 1 Feb 2012 #libya
vor 8 Minuten

Posted by: somebody | Oct 27 2011 10:59 utc | 2

If it's to keep them in, clearly it is because they want to serve them the same fate served The Mug, and NATO will be an accomplice to a genocide atrocity....once again. They do that so well, and they need a fix.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Oct 27 2011 11:32 utc | 3

Keep in mind jalil isn't asking himself. He is saying and doing what he's told. He is an asset and likely was from the beginning. Now that the rebels will start to fight each other, NATO wants to decide which of the rebel factions it wants to punot in power. That's all. Don't be surprised if the faction they want is the most rigid and backward Saudi and Qatari backed Wahabis.

Posted by: lysander | Oct 27 2011 12:01 utc | 4

Greece is going to explode into all out civil war after this latest write-down scam. b, you might want to do a post on the particulars of this deal. Here's a link to the Bloomberg article.

European leaders cajoled bondholders into accepting 50 percent writedowns on Greek debt and boosted their rescue fund’s capacity to 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion) in a crisis-fighting package intended to shield the euro area.

The 17-nation euro and stocks climbed while bond spreads narrowed after leaders emerged early today from a 10-hour summit in Brussels armed with a plan they said points the way out of the quagmire, albeit with some details still to be ironed out.

I bet those details are still being worked out.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Oct 27 2011 13:46 utc | 5

I am sure that was the plan lysander, just somebody was not doing their homework and forgot to look up on religion in Libya.
Whilst most of Benghazi is Sunni Muslim, the largest part has their own variant of Islam and Animism.
Touaregs are partly matrilinear, and it is men who wear the veil, women don't:
So if they plan to import Wahabbism via Quatar they have some missionary work to do. Remember the oil is in the desert. Touareg tribes are across the border to Niger, where all the Uranium is.
The French by the way know this. The Lybian Islamic Fighting group is a US/Uk plan. Presumably it will backfire politically in the US. The knives are out already between the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian in the Uk. The French want to get out, it seeems.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 27 2011 14:01 utc | 6

they want out

it will be all contractors now

Posted by: somebody | Oct 27 2011 14:49 utc | 7

NATO took sides in a civil war.

Tossed the dice.

> Under self induced pressure to act, do *something*, Arab Springs, WTF, war lust, all that, future influence contracts new colonialism humanitarian war etc. Be there! Get involved! Kadhafi has always been a madman!

Supporting K. was not an option. Democracy and History and the Free Market must move forward...and any ‘socialist’ despot deserves death or the cells in the Hague....move forward...

Without NATO support the REBELS would not have acted or won. To put it very delicately.

The bomb / firepower / logistics was essential, and continues to be vital.

Requesting foreign powers to stay cuts into legitimacy - therefore a heap of lame reasons have to be put forward, based not on control of territory and future deals, but fantastical details concerning personalia, fleeing shadows, rabid thugs, etc. plugging into blood lust, revenge, tribal hate, expectation of lucrative deals.

From the West, NATO, pov, having invested until now, the enterprise cannot be given up and they must support the REBELS to the hilt until they come out top of the heap and officially own the signature to sign off on oil contracts, banking matters, agriculture, education, fast food chains, buying arms, building ships, etc. and can control the country and guarantee security. The West will not leave or give up before that is achieved no matter what it takes. For a while at least.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 27 2011 16:40 utc | 8

No boots in the ground

Posted by: ThePaper | Oct 27 2011 17:26 utc | 9

Saif Gaddafi wants to surrender himself to ICC; ICC will loose credibility if it only persecute Gaddafi for war crimes but turn a blind eye to the well documented war crimes committed by TNC fighters.

Posted by: nikon | Oct 27 2011 18:37 utc | 10

I think Saif Gaddafi is still in politics.

In the meantime, suddenly noone wants to get involved in Libya.

"They need to make laws and put security in place, and I'm talking about security in general. Like in cities full of guns, the last thing that we want is a stray bullet killing one of our employees," said the manager at one of Libya's largest oil services companies.

Oil fields may be prime targets for guerrilla-style attacks, but rival military groups screeching through towns are still a worry in Libya and oil companies are struggling to cope with it.

A London-based oil trader visiting Tripoli this week was prepared to give up on a meeting with new Libyan oil managers after the entrance to a government building was blocked by a convoy of chaotic fighters flashing AK-47 rifles.

"Perhaps we should just leave," he suggested.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 27 2011 18:47 utc | 11

I'll be surprised if Saif makes it on the plane.

Posted by: dh | Oct 27 2011 18:49 utc | 12

Somewhat related and if true points to the Turkish neo-Caliphate drive going into a quite suicidal direction.

Slapping at Syria, Turkey Shelters Anti-Assad Fighters

How long will take for Turkey to be at war inside Syria, Iraq and Iran?

Posted by: ThePaper | Oct 27 2011 19:01 utc | 13

I'll be surprised if Saif makes it on the plane.

If he does, you can be sure there will be snakes on it.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Oct 27 2011 19:16 utc | 14


Posted by: somebody | Oct 27 2011 20:15 utc | 15

what new government? what do they govern? Do they have the consent of the governed? The insurgents butcher people, use a hard to control NATO attack dog(known to turn around and bite its handlers) and expect to be able to rule?
Few libyans will accept their rule...They need NATO there to crush the dissent of the people.

Posted by: brian | Oct 27 2011 20:47 utc | 16

But NATO probably dont want Saif Gaddafi dead, that's why he survived both siege of tripoli and siege of sirte.

Posted by: nikon | Oct 27 2011 22:27 utc | 17

@17, of course, they will whisk him into refuge and rehabilitate him so he can return in twenty years to lead Libya after it is destroyed again......kind of like a Chalabi or Karzai, if you will. It's all such fun.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Oct 27 2011 23:12 utc | 18

Is that an Al Qaeda flag flying over Benghazi`s courthouse?

Yes, it is. Photos included:

so, Nato on it's way to back in I suppose ...

Posted by: somebody | Oct 28 2011 19:58 utc | 19

oh well,they will not leave anyway ...

Posted by: somebody | Oct 29 2011 6:50 utc | 20

more mischief

oh no not NATO, the UN should take responsibility ... and recompensate any money drowned in Libya ...

Posted by: somebody | Oct 29 2011 7:27 utc | 21

The murder brigades of Misrata - Gadhafi's demise was just a part of a vast revenge killing spree

More than 100 militia brigades from Misrata have been operating outside of any official military and civilian command since Tripoli fell in August. Members of these militias have engaged in torture, pursued suspected enemies far and wide, detained them and shot them in detention, Human Rights Watch has found. Members of these brigades have stated that the entire displaced population of one town, Tawergha, which they believe largely supported Gadhafi avidly, cannot return home.

Posted by: b | Oct 29 2011 8:32 utc | 22

blowback - Britain complicit in Ghaddafi regime torture - -

Posted by: somebody | Oct 29 2011 13:22 utc | 23

oh well, if Libya was meant to be a proxy war with China about African resources ... I suggest Europe should surrender ...

Mr. Regling said he didn’t expect to leave China with any firm commitments, warning that negotiations could take “weeks.” Part of the reason is Mr. Regling, who is a financier rather than a politician, doesn’t have the power to answer some of Beijing’s other anticipated demands. He said the EFSF’s managers would be asking how China and other potential investors would like to see the bailout fund structured “so that the money will actually come.”

“I could only go to one country first,” Mr. Regling said in response to a question from a Japanese journalist about why he had flown to Beijing, rather than Tokyo, after the euro zone bailout deal was reached Wednesday. “We will visit many different investors from many different countries over the next few weeks, but it was good to come to Beijing first.”

With many Chinese commentators questioning why China – a developing economy that recently has seen stirrings of a local debt crisis of its own, with defaults sparking panic in two cities so far – would bail out the far richer European Union, the Communist Party leadership is under pressure to get something in return. One relatively easy-to-satisfy demand might be Beijing’s long-standing appeal to be granted full market economy status within the World Trade Organization.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 29 2011 16:08 utc | 24

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