NATO Running Out Of Ammunition In Libya "Oil Liberation" Campaign

Tyler Durden's picture

Where does one even start with this one: US launches air campaign against oil rich country under pretext of humanitarian intervention (while ignoring comparable events in Syria and Iran). US realizes it does not actually use Libyan oil, government runs out of money, hits debt ceiling, leading to decision to pull out of Libya after it is uncovered that CIA operatives had been laying the groundwork for a government overthrow for months, and a scramble to avoid Iraq deja vu ensues. US hands over military campaign to ragtag NATO force led by France. NATO "air superiority" force bombs rebel units; Libyan rebels lose previously held positions and oil wells. Libyan government on verge of repelling US and NATO forces, leading to... NATO runs out of ammunition. There is no point to even comment on this increasingly more surreal chain of events.

From Defense News:

NATO is running short of precision bombs and other munitions in its Libyan operation against the forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, The Washington Post reported April 15.

Citing unnamed senior NATO and U.S. officials, the newspaper said the shortage highlights the limitations of Britain, France and other European countries in sustaining even a relatively small military action.

The shortage of European munitions, along with the limited number of aircraft available, has raised doubts among some officials about whether the United States can continue to avoid returning to the air campaign, the report said.

So far, the NATO commander has not requested their deployment, The Post noted.

But several U.S. military officials said they anticipated being called back into the fight, the paper said.

Currently, only six out of 28 nations are conducting air strikes, while France and Britain carry out half of them. The other half are conducted by Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Canada.

Bottom line: this whole "plan" has been a total disaster from the beginning. And good luck Obama trying to sell a repeat US incursion in what even the idiot electorate now sees through as nothing than another Bush-like attempt to extract oil and implement Halliburton as the chief executive authority. That particular record has already been played.

h/t Themos Mitsos

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Global Hunter's picture

So when Obama said that in no uncertain terms that Qadaffi had to be removed from power he was just reading what the teleprompter said and he didn't really mean it?

WestVillageIdiot's picture

Enough of that teleprompter stuff.  This is serious business.  Does this mean my and Lululemon stock will continue to rise.  Or not? 

defender's picture

Does this mean my and Lululemon stock will continue to rise.

Yes.  All of the money that was being spent on troops, fuel, and bombs will now be dumped straight into the stock market.  Congratulations, you are about to have many fiats attributed to your name.

flacon's picture

Perhaps the price of silver is curtailing the USA from turing plowshares into swords (bombs)? Can't make a precision bomb with SLV or stock certificates now can you? I am sure Bernanke and Dimon have thought of that and can use tongsten/lead instead of silver for the electronics...right? 100% lead solder anyone?

Thomas's picture

But you can't eat a precision bomb (although a few Libyans may disagree at this point).

New_Meat's picture

well, we intend that they eat Mk 81s with the special package. - Ned

Yardfarmer's picture

meanwhile they're eating, breathing, absorbing and otherwise ingesting depleted uranium. go long uranium!

serotonindumptruck's picture

Of course, the military industrial complex could always resort to platinum for their circuitry. Why stop at Ag when you can achieve maximum conductivity with Pt?

the mad hatter's picture

Of course they don't want another Iraq. The purpose of the military expedition was to warn Ghadaffi... just like the first Iraq War was a warning for Saddam. The West wants Ghadaffi to give them cheap oil and to privatize their central bank.

It was a message... play by our rules or else.

LibertyIn2010's picture

Well said mad hatter.  The reason the article couldn't make sense of the Libyan operation is because it left out the part about the rebels taking the time to open their own central bank and sell oil to the West.  That tells you everything you need to know about our world today, who really runs it and how they do it.

serotonindumptruck's picture

"The reason the article couldn't make sense of the Libyan operation is because it left out the part about the rebels taking the time to open their own central bank and sell oil to the West."

This smells like a CIA/Mossad operation. Sorta like dead fish.

sun tzu's picture

Why would Mossad want to overthrow Ghadaffi and install Al Qaeda or Muslim Brotherhood in Libya? Do you think Mossad is behind Mubarak's overthrow too?

Long-John-Silver's picture

Sense there is no 'Not Junk' button I will simply say "I thus say Not Junk".

serotonindumptruck's picture

I collect "junks" in my spare time. Please indulge me.

Milestones's picture

Do we have to press "2" for spanish??       Milestones

Pegasus Muse's picture

Libya all about oil, or central banking?

By Ellen Brown


Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank - this before they even had a government. Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:


I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.


Alex Newman wrote in the New American:


In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the "[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi."


Newman quoted CNBC senior editor John Carney, who asked, "Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era."


Another anomaly involves the official justification for taking up arms against Libya. Supposedly it's about human rights violations, but the evidence is contradictory. According to an article on the Fox News website on February 28:


As the United Nations works feverishly to condemn Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi for cracking down on protesters, the body's Human Rights Council is poised to adopt a report chock-full of praise for Libya's human rights record.


The review commends Libya for improving educational opportunities, for making human rights a "priority" and for bettering its "constitutional" framework. Several countries, including Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia but also Canada, give Libya positive marks for the legal protections afforded to its citizens - who are now revolting against the regime and facing bloody reprisal.


Whatever might be said of Gaddafi's personal crimes, the Libyan people seem to be thriving. A delegation of medical professionals from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus wrote in an appeal to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that after becoming acquainted with Libyan life, it was their view that in few nations did people live in such comfort:


[Libyans] are entitled to free treatment, and their hospitals provide the best in the world of medical equipment. Education in Libya is free, capable young people have the opportunity to study abroad at government expense. When marrying, young couples receive 60,000 Libyan dinars (about 50,000 US dollars) of financial assistance. Non-interest state loans, and as practice shows, undated. Due to government subsidies the price of cars is much lower than in Europe, and they are affordable for every family. Gasoline and bread cost a penny, no taxes for those who are engaged in agriculture. The Libyan people are quiet and peaceful, are not inclined to drink, and are very religious.


They maintained that the international community had been misinformed about the struggle against the regime. "Tell us," they said, "who would not like such a regime?"


Even if that is just propaganda, there is no denying at least one very popular achievement of the Libyan government: it brought water to the desert by building the largest and most expensive irrigation project in history, the US$33 billion GMMR (Great Man-Made River) project. Even more than oil, water is crucial to life in Libya.


The GMMR provides 70% of the population with water for drinking and irrigation, pumping it from Libya's vast underground Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System in the south to populated coastal areas 4,000 kilometers to the north. The Libyan government has done at least some things right.


Another explanation for the assault on Libya is that it is "all about oil", but that theory too is problematic. As noted in the National Journal, the country produces only about 2% of the world's oil. Saudi Arabia alone has enough spare capacity to make up for any lost production if Libyan oil were to disappear from the market. And if it's all about oil, why the rush to set up a new central bank?


Another provocative bit of data circulating on the Net is a 2007 "Democracy Now" interview of US General Wesley Clark (Ret). In it he says that about 10 days after September 11, 2001, he was told by a general that the decision had been made to go to war with Iraq. Clark was surprised and asked why. "I don't know!" was the response. "I guess they don't know what else to do!" Later, the same general said they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.


What do these seven countries have in common? In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers' central bank in Switzerland.


The most renegade of the lot could be Libya and Iraq, the two that have actually been attacked. Kenneth Schortgen Jr, writing on, noted that "[s]ix months before the US moved into Iraq to take down Saddam Hussein, the oil nation had made the move to accept euros instead of dollars for oil, and this became a threat to the global dominance of the dollar as the reserve currency, and its dominion as the petrodollar."


According to a Russian article titled "Bombing of Libya - Punishment for Ghaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar", Gaddafi made a similarly bold move: he initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. Gaddafi suggested establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency.


During the past year, the idea was approved by many Arab countries and most African countries. The only opponents were the Republic of South Africa and the head of the League of Arab States. The initiative was viewed negatively by the USA and the European Union, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy calling Libya a threat to the financial security of mankind; but Gaddafi was not swayed and continued his push for the creation of a united Africa.


And that brings us back to the puzzle of the Libyan central bank. In an article posted on the Market Oracle, Eric Encina observed:

One seldom mentioned fact by western politicians and media pundits: the Central Bank of Libya is 100% State Owned ... Currently, the Libyan government creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, through the facilities of its own central bank. Few can argue that Libya is a sovereign nation with its own great resources, able to sustain its own economic destiny. One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero dominion or power-broking ability. Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.


Libya not only has oil. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its central bank has nearly 144 tonnes of gold in its vaults. With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS, the IMF and their rules?


All of which prompts a closer look at the BIS rules and their effect on local economies. An article on the BIS website states that central banks in the Central Bank Governance Network are supposed to have as their single or primary objective "to preserve price stability".


They are to be kept independent from government to make sure that political considerations don't interfere with this mandate. "Price stability" means maintaining a stable money supply, even if that means burdening the people with heavy foreign debts. Central banks are discouraged from increasing the money supply by printing money and using it for the benefit of the state, either directly or as loans.


In a 2002 article in Asia Times Online titled "The BIS vs national banks" Henry Liu maintained:


BIS regulations serve only the single purpose of strengthening the international private banking system, even at the peril of national economies. The BIS does to national banking systems what the IMF has done to national monetary regimes. National economies under financial globalization no longer serve national interests.


... FDI [foreign direct investment] denominated in foreign currencies, mostly dollars, has condemned many national economies into unbalanced development toward export, merely to make dollar-denominated interest payments to FDI, with little net benefit to the domestic economies.


He added, "Applying the State Theory of Money, any government can fund with its own currency all its domestic developmental needs to maintain full employment without inflation." The "state theory of money" refers to money created by governments rather than private banks.


The presumption of the rule against borrowing from the government's own central bank is that this will be inflationary, while borrowing existing money from foreign banks or the IMF will not. But all banks actually create the money they lend on their books, whether publicly owned or privately owned. Most new money today comes from bank loans. Borrowing it from the government's own central bank has the advantage that the loan is effectively interest-free. Eliminating interest has been shown to reduce the cost of public projects by an average of 50%.


And that appears to be how the Libyan system works. According to Wikipedia, the functions of the Central Bank of Libya include "issuing and regulating banknotes and coins in Libya" and "managing and issuing all state loans". Libya's wholly state-owned bank can and does issue the national currency and lend it for state purposes.


That would explain where Libya gets the money to provide free education and medical care, and to issue each young couple $50,000 in interest-free state loans. It would also explain where the country found the $33 billion to build the Great Man-Made River project. Libyans are worried that North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led air strikes are coming perilously close to this pipeline, threatening another humanitarian disaster.


So is this new war all about oil or all about banking? Maybe both - and water as well. With energy, water, and ample credit to develop the infrastructure to access them, a nation can be free of the grip of foreign creditors. And that may be the real threat of Libya: it could show the world what is possible.


Most countries don't have oil, but new technologies are being developed that could make non-oil-producing nations energy-independent, particularly if infrastructure costs are halved by borrowing from the nation's own publicly owned bank. Energy independence would free governments from the web of the international bankers, and of the need to shift production from domestic to foreign markets to service the loans.


If the Gaddafi government goes down, it will be interesting to watch whether the new central bank joins the BIS, whether the nationalized oil industry gets sold off to investors, and whether education and healthcare continue to be free.


Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute, . In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how a private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are and


(Copyright Ellen Brown 2011)


Chris88's picture

Oh yeah Ellen Brown I remember her.  She is the clueless moron who thinks printing money solves all the world's problems.  I perceive anything she writes the same as if Lindsay Lohan spoke about the wonderful life of sobriety.

macholatte's picture


Like I said quite a while back, the Colonel pissed off the bankers so that means war. All the humanitarian & human rights propaganda is pure, unadulterated bullshit.

Dorotheo Arango's picture

it is not about banking, it is about water

a very rare commodity in that part of the World

Raymond K Hassel's picture

Go back and look at the timeline of the news.  One day before the UN approved the no fly zone, Ghadaffi said he would bypass the normal auction process for Libyan oil contracts and offer direct concessions to China.  Boom.  Bombs dropping within 24 hours.  Al Jazeera had the story up briefly, but even they took it down.  But google the news, the timeline remains intact even if the dots remain unconnected by the MSM. 

Problem Is's picture

"Enough of that teleprompter stuff.  This is serious business.  Does this mean my and Lululemon stock will continue to rise.  Or not? "

Obummer-Teleprompter = Magic 8-Ball
When Obummer reads the teleprompter delivering the control message... think of it as the answer from a cracked Magic 8-Ball that is always wrong...


"I pledge to cut the nation's $1.3 trillion deficit in half by the end of my first term."

Obummer-Feb. 23, 2009

"The steps we've taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession -- but to win the future..."

"We set a goal of doubling our exports by 2014... Already, our exports are up."

Obummer-State of the Union- Jan. 25, 2011

The idiot simply reads whatever is on the screen...

Twindrives's picture

So.......if corporate Uncle Tom Obama calls on the U.N. suppress U.S. citizens militarily in the coming U.S. civil war....... the U.N. is toast.   Excellent.        

UGrev's picture

Blue hats stick out :D

New_Meat's picture

Blue hats be candy, not "supposed" to carry weapons. -->Blue hats b targets. - Ned

Dugald's picture


It always has been. Just an excuse for ongoing luncheons and cocktail parties for wanker diplomats and hangers on.

hannah's picture

no that crazy blonde that wanted to be a news ancher changed the script and he told san diego to F-off.....LOL!

Burnbright's picture

This won't end well.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

Qaddaffi might disagree with you.  Putin, too.  I wonder if Vladimir is watching his miniature giraffe walk on that treadmill and laughing his ass off. 

Global Hunter's picture

Bonus points for the miniature giraffe reference, had me laughing.

Burnbright's picture

West, I am talking about what happens when the rest of the world realizes the US and Nato forces are irrelevant.

serotonindumptruck's picture

I wouldn't fuck with Vlad. He does hold a black belt in Judo. That leg sweep is fucking brutal. Imagine the follow-up strikes!

chumbawamba's picture

What?  Oh, pishaw!  This will end exactly as we sowed it.

This is going to be Epic.

I am Chumbawamba.

savagegoose's picture

yeah it has to suck when the bomb you drop costs more than the target it destroys.

cossack55's picture

Yes, well, the US hasn't figured that out in 50 years. Or maybe it has, and is just defense contractor welfare.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Now you understand EROEI . . . when the oil well you drill down 18,000 feet only finds a few months of oil.

jeff montanye's picture

aren't these sort of corollaries of don rum's "are we killing them faster than we're making them?"  

SWRichmond's picture

War is economic.  You win a war by making it economically impossible for OPFOR to take the field.

This is how we beat the USSR: we arms-race spent them into oblivion.  It appears that Al Qaeda watched and learned, because our response to their attack, an attack once called "remarkably efficient" by McCain, has us spending ourselves into oblivion.  Efficient indeed.

dogbreath's picture

spending ourselves to oblivion???  who does that benefit again??

Banjo's picture

SWRichmond: There are many ideas on why the USSR collapsed.

1. Chernobyl bankruped their economy.

2. People seeing that the system was corrupt and morally bankrupt.

3. Afghan war

4. Their peak in oil production in 1987 and inability to fund their allies with cheap resources and energy.

5. Military spending to counter the US

6. Perestroika - restructruing and openess implemented in the 1980's by the communist party.


High Plains Drifter's picture

it never really died. that was all a big show. the same people who control it, are there now, only their stripes have changed to make it look good.  once they called them good communist and party officials, now they call them capitalist and oligarchs. what has changed? the poor white russian is still getting the short end of the stick as usual......and for comfort, they go to the state church, the russian orthodox church, which for so long has been in bed with whoever has been in power. so the left is a enemy, the right is a enemy and the church is the enemy too. so welcome to the new paradigm which is really the same old paradigm, but now thanks mainly to the internet and the free flow of ideas, we can see clearly faster and exchange ideas faster and for this it does provide a tiny shining light that could spark something good. just maybe........

IslandMan's picture

Yes and No. The USSR died. Effectively, Russia lost its empire.  That was Putin's point when he said something like, the fall of the USSR was the greatest regret of the 2oth century.

Madcow's picture

The USA bankrupt the USSR by convincing the Saudis and others to flood the oil markets starting in the late 1980s. This dramatically lowered the price of oil and took away the Soviet's capacity to keep up an arms race with the USA.

It also encouraged lots of ME producers to vastly over-produce and accelerate depletion curves - and to then lie about reserves. It also encourage wasteful driving habits and poor urban planning in the USA. But its not 'game over' for the West. 

The USA now has the technology to harvest unconventional hydrocarbon resources - tar sands, bitumens, heavy oil - with what is basically military aerospace technology.  Considering that the vast majority of the worlds hydrocarbons are locked up in unconventionals - in the USA and Canada - its just a matter of time before these resources are brought on line. 

It will be AFTER the USA has made sure the oil fields of Africa, the ME, Indonesia and S America have been largely depleted. 



BurningFuld's picture

You are absolutely correct. The Norwegians are now in the Tar Sands and claim an extraction rate of...wait for it...80%. Yes people 80%...better than for conventional oil. Put that on your calculator with 1.8 trillion barrels in Alberta's Tar Sands. Also: The amount of energy required for extraction is 20% of what is produced.