April 15, 2011
NATO says it needs more planes for Libya operation
To that request I say “duh.” Of course they need more planes. But not just any planes; they need sophisticated, all weather strike aircraft with smart bombs and missiles to take out Gaddafi’s armor currently being used in close quarters with civilians.
Mmmmmm…know anyone who might have a few of those kind of aircraft lying around not doing anything?
Of course, this is a plea to the US to re-enter the conflict with both feet. Even though NATO has 28 members, only France, the UK, Canada, Belgium, Norway and Denmark are contributing air craft to the fight against Gaddafi’s forces. Spain and Italy – both with considerable air assets – have decided to sit this one out. As has Germany and Turkey who also could contribute air craft but oppose the strikes against Gaddafi in the first place.
The BBC report quotes NATO downplaying the crisis:
Some assessments suggest that Nato only needs about a dozen or so extra strike aircraft to maintain the tempo of operations.Only a few of Nato’s 28 members – including France, the UK, Canada, Belgium, Norway and Denmark – are conducting air strikes.
Washington withdrew its fighter jets as it scaled back its role in the mission, although US planes are still targeting Col Gaddafi’s air defences and it says it has still been flying a third of the missions.Asked on Thursday if American forces could resume ground strikes, Mr Hague said the US was already making “a huge contribution”.
“It’s not unreasonable to ask other nations… to make additional contributions,” Mr Hague added.
Several major Nato member countries, including Spain and Italy, have not taken part in attacks on ground targets.
With NATO finally facing reality about the rebels – that they are unorganized and unable to coalesce around a single group – they are realizing that they are not going to get much help in getting rid of Gaddafi. This is a formula for stalemate and eventual partition with Gaddafi still in charge of most of the oil and population.
Expect continued silence on the war from the administration. They would rather leave their NATO allies in the lurch that get involved in this politically toxic war.