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Update - Only 24h after handing command over to NATO

Reader comment on item: Back to the Shores of Tripoli?
in response to reader comment: Why The US Must Follow Through and Eliminate Gaddafi

Submitted by MichelC. Zala (Switzerland), Mar 30, 2011 at 10:05

As said yesterday, the coalition must, absolutely must, move fast, hard and decisively, in order to demoralize Gaddafi forces and eliminate the regime quickly.

Obama may have moved in his typical "considerate" manner, which many amongst us Republicans perceive as weak and exercising little leadership. Albeit, sacrificing speed and efficiency, thus the (unspoken) mission objective for broad political support, the US, after quite astounding military successes, handed over tactical command to NATO, an organisation which must abide by a political (unanimous) control of 28 nations, including Germany and Turkey. Mission impossible.

I fear that this was a grave mistake, as Turkey will not commit, since the Erdogan administration does not want to be seen as a muslim nation taking aggressive action against another muslim nation and further wishes to preserve its own right to deal with minorities in a manner they see fit. Similar opportunistic reasons are valid for Merkel in Germany, a failing government under pressure and already incredibly dependent on Russia, which they do not want to anger in any way, Italy and its own Mafioso, Berlusconi, who always wants to play both sides agaist the middle and is facing the brunt of illegal immigration from the Maghreb.

Literally on the same day, Nato took over command from the USA, Gaddafi started a counter-offensive and has at present pushed back the opposition to Brega again, knowing full well, that NATO will never be as aggressive, as the US, FR and the UK leading the charge.

I fear the worst case scenario coming true from mission creep to a very protracted conflict, the West will not be willing to see through. I can see the US Civil War scenario appearing on the horizon, where Gaddafi is not forced to win, but simply has to force some form of stalemate and dig in, whereas the coalition is forced to achieve a victory (regime change and fast) to accomplish the mission objectives. This coalition will hold at best for a month, during which they must fully succeed, whereas Gaddafi on the other hand only must hold Tripoli to negotiate his way out, share power or partition the country. In poker language, he has several ways out and time is on his side, whereas the coalition has only one way out without losing any remaining credibility and respect throughout the (Arab) world.

The tragic is that this coalition has in fact amassed sufficient air power and logistics to overthrow Gaddafi's mercenary bands quickly, yet is is already apparent that there is already too much politically motivated control over the military forces again, and the same fatal situation we already know from Vietnam, Afgh, Iraq seems to develop rapidly, where an army has to fight a conflict with both hands hand-cuffed by politicians behind their backs, a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest - a recipe for disaster. Already the first backdoor strategies manifest, where all of a sudden Al Kaeda and Hezbollah fighters allegedly fight amongst the opposition forces, a rumor, successfully spread by Gaddafi State TV Propaganda and now eagerly picked up by Germans, Turks and Italians to promote the notion of "caution" and thus hampering the military options severely. I am very worried by the fact that even some staunch leaders have mentioned this, as if preparing for their own backdoor exit already.

If this scenaro develops further, I share the opinion that the US should have stayed out of this conflict from the get go, as she will lose out on every dimension of this conflict. The appeasers, domestic and abroad, will celebrate, "we told you so", and the USA and its allies will look the true fools. Obama may find himself soon in a terrible dilemma of either in fact having to put boots on the ground or come out of this mess utterly defeated. (Let us not forget that Gaddafi does not need to win, but any negotiated asylum or power sharing the entire Arab world would perceive as a Gaddafi victory.) Either one option will make Obama look like the weak, ineffective leader he actually seems to be and once again, John McCain would have been proven right,as his aggressive action, he promoted 3 weeks before anyone else, much like the surges in Afgh and Iraq, would have proven to be efficient and victorious, whereas Obama's hesitation and now handing over of military control may well prove to be ineffective in all aspects of the Lybian conflict and in the bigger picture the pan-arabic macro-strategy.

Well, I hope that NATO understands that consequent follow through is no longer an option, but a necessity, otherwise it will become the laughing stock of the world. Sorry to be blunt, but , eff the Germans, eff the Turks and eff the Italians, if need be and smell the roses for once.

For God's sake, get a grip and finish Gaddafi once and for all. Do not worry about politics and coalitions, diplomacy and small talk, but finish the job once and for all. After all, the alternative would be devastating for all parties concerned - most of all the Lybian people.

Submitting....

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