Libya: What Next for NATO?
The British and French Defence Ministries went about town telling everybody who cared to listen that the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya was the best thing since sliced bread to resolve a crisis and this crisis in particular.
Many went along with them. Sorry some went along with them and UN Resolution 1973 was passed. There would be bombing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s military to protect civilians. Of course, that this would in itself cost civilian lives was a not care of theirs but at the end of the day they went about their business and killed a bunch of people including the Libyan leader’s son.
But it is two months now and there does not seem to be an end in sight.
An inalienable fact is that unless Col Gaddafi is the target of NATO strikes then there will be no end. Col Gaddafi has given his life to this cause and the threat of death does not scare him. He is willing to die for his beliefs.
Now Resolution 1937 does not permit making him a target which means as things stand NATO is stuck. The mandate restricts them but it also smacks of a bit of dishonesty on the part of those who rushed to the UN to ‘protect civilians’. But they will not leave until Gaddafi is beaten. Is that not in itself the violation of the mandate. Let’s weaken Col Gaddafi so he can be removed? Does that not in itself become a coup?
Let’s face it, the rebels cannot beat Col Gaddafi even after 2 months of bombing. They were never capable of beating Col Gaddafi.
So let’s say Col Gaddafi is taken out, does that automatically mean that the unrest will be done or will the baton simply be passed on to to the next nationalist? And how do negotiations take place? Who do you negotiate with?
Of course negotiating with Col Gaddafi is something that the rebels and their handlers won’t do.
There probably were many opportunities to be decisive, diplomatic or otherwise. Of course they underestimated the power and the resolve of Col Gaddafi and co. That is without a shadow of a doubt.
The question then becomes, did NATO think this through? Was there a plan?