Libya: Differences of Opinion Emerge Among Allies

Libya: Differences of Opinion Emerge Among Allies

As the first wave of bombardment in Libya has begun, it appears there is already a difference of opinion over the objectives of "Operation Odyssey Dawn." While France was announcing an "historic partnership" with Qatar joining French warplanes "side-by-side," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has warned of a possible stalemate in Libya. Mullen said the UN Security Council is not aimed at regime change. France meanwhile took a more assertive stance by suggesting that the allies' intervention must ultimately lead to Moammar Gadhafi's downfall.

As I read the news of this potential rift developing, it reinforced thoughts in my previous post. I simply did not trust France and their demand for an "all in" by the U.S.. Why was France so steadfast on "American Muscle?" My assertion was that France and Britain could have handled this operation by themselves. Especially given that the fact that we are already fighting costly wars on two fronts. Those 112 Tomahawks, by the way, cost American Taxpayers anywhere from $62 million to $156 million, depending on the model used. We just can't afford this.  The newer model missiles will now cost us upwards of $1.3 million each to restock. Although the events in Libya may ultimately affect us, we really don't have much to gain in North Africa, except for more hatred of American influence in the region.

Al-Jazeera has already reported anger by the Arab League: Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, said on Sunday that when the organisation endorsed a no-fly zone "what we wanted was the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians."

North Africa and France have traditional ties dating back to colonial days. There is a shared culture and history, although those ties exclude Libya and a few others, many nations along the North African Mediterranean Coast do. That is why I think France has much more to gain there, than we do. As I see it, it isn't just about the oil, it may also have something to do with controlling the southern Mediterranean coastline.

It is, after all, a major gateway to Europe and there has been an influx of illegals, as well as contraband over the years. European nations, thus, have a vested interested. Naturally, every nation has their political agendas. No one always knows what the true motives or agendas are. The United States, as well as the other allies' involved, have not always been on the up and up, or even angels. As a result, it isn't so far-fetched to think that a country has not always been truthful in their pursuits. It is the nature of what it is, this geopolitical chess game nations play.

After reviewing numerous world news sites, all are now reporting this difference of opinion over the objectives. Whatever the end result is, one thing is certain the UN Resolution of establishing a No-Fly Zone has been achieved. How this conflict plays out does bear watching. What will the endgame be and who will fill the power vacuum?

In the event Moammar Gadhafi survives this onslaught, well, that will bear watching too. There would, no doubt be retribution and retaliation. Some have already speculated that he may have set things in motion outside of Libya. Of course no one really knows for sure, but this conflict could very well extend beyond a "quick resolution."

Just as the United States made a false claim of WMD's to justify a war in Iraq, who really knows what anyone is being duped into here with Libya. Are these rebels simply civilians who have tired of Gadhafi's regime, or is there someone behind it? No one seems to know the complete dynamics yet, nor what will emerge from a Libya without Moammar Gadhafi, or his sons. Will it become a safe haven for terrorism? Who knows?

Sometimes the bigger picture often looks much different than the one begun.

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  • On the radio, it sounded like Mullen said as quoted, but that Obama is quoted as saying that U.S. policy is that Khadaffi must go, but other than by military means, like sanctions were going to do the job.

    This sort of sounds like GWB supposedly saying that GHWB did not get the job done the first time, but then GWB declaring mission accomplished once Saddam was out, but not before Iraq was pacified, if it ever was. Here, we have an even more unclear goal for the mission.

  • In reply to jack:

    I got the same take today. Turkey and Russia are making noise about NATO, while Italy, France and the UK don't want NATO involvement. I heard that the Norwegians, who were ready to join the coalition, have turned around and went home because of a "lack of a clear mission."

    I have to assume that the UK & France want to kill Gadhafi and can act with impunity so long as NATO is not directly involved. While Obama is not buying in on the killing as a means for removal. Yet, Mark Kirk wants an "all in" to take out Gadhafi's regime with Congressional approval.

    A Mess? Oh boy is it ever. But did we expect any different?

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