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What Happens After A "No Fly Zone" Is Instituted Over Libya?

Tyler Durden's picture


With the enactment of a no-fly zone over Libya now a matter of days, despite all the rhetoric otherwise, the question becomes what the implications of such an escalation in military activity would be. Stratfor provides one perspective on this development: unlike conventional wisdom that this would lead to brisk and clinical institution of supremacy, Stratfor believes it could actually backfire: "The idea that this would be a quick, surgical and short-term invasion is certainly one scenario, but it is neither certain nor even the most likely scenario. In the same sense, the casualties caused by the no-fly zone would be unknown. The difference is that while a no-fly zone could be terminated easily, it is unlikely that it would have any impact on ground operations. An invasion would certainly have a substantial impact but would not be terminable. Stopping a civil war is viable if it can be done without increasing casualties beyond what they might be if the war ran its course. The no-fly zone likely does that, without ending the civil war. If properly resourced, the invasion option could end the civil war, but it opens the door to extended low-intensity conflict." Either way, the military outcome is by now likely predetermined, and is a function only of ongoing actions by the now supremely irrational Gaddafi. All we can do is sit back and watch.

From George Friemdn of Stratfor

How a Libyan No-fly Zone Could Backfire

Calls are growing for a no-fly zone over Libya, but a power or coalition of powers willing to enforce one remains elusive.

In evaluating such calls, it is useful to remember that in war, Murphy’s Law always lurks. What can go wrong will go wrong, in Libya as in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Complications to Airstrikes

It has been pointed out that a no-fly zone is not an antiseptic act. In order to protect the aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone, one must begin by suppressing enemy air defenses. This in turn poses an intelligence problem. Precisely what are Libyan air defenses and where are they located? It is possible to assert that Libya has no effective air defenses and that an SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses) attack is therefore unnecessary. But that makes assumptions that cannot be demonstrated without testing, and the test is dangerous. At the same time, collecting definitive intelligence on air defenses is not as easy as it might appear — particularly as the opposition and thieves alike have managed to capture heavy weapons and armored vehicles, meaning that air defense assets are on the move and under uncertain control.

Therefore, a no-fly zone would begin with airstrikes on known air defense sites. But it would likely continue with sustained patrols by SEAD aircraft armed with anti-radiation missiles poised to rapidly confront any subsequent threat that pops up. Keeping those aircraft on station for an extended period of time would be necessary, along with an unknown number of strikes. It is uncertain where the radars and missiles are located, and those airstrikes would not be without error. When search radars and especially targeting radars are turned on, the response must be instantaneous, while the radar is radiating (and therefore vulnerable) and before it can engage. That means there will be no opportunity to determine whether the sites are located in residential areas or close to public facilities such as schools or hospitals.

Previous regimes, hoping to garner international support, have deliberately placed their systems near such facilities to force what the international media would consider an atrocity. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi does not seem like someone who would hesitate to cause civilian casualties for political advantage. Thus, the imposition of a no-fly zone could rapidly deteriorate into condemnations for killing civilians of those enforcing the zone ostensibly for humanitarian purposes. Indeed, attacks on air defenses could cause substantial casualties, turning a humanitarian action into one of considerable consequence in both humanitarian and political terms.

Airstrikes vs. Ground Operations

The more important question is what exactly a no-fly zone would achieve. Certainly, it would ground Gadhafi’s air force, but it would not come close to ending the fighting nor erode Gadhafi’s other substantial advantages. His forces appear to be better organized and trained than his opponents, who are politically divided and far less organized. Not long ago, Gadhafi largely was written off, but he has more than held his own — and he has held his own through the employment of ground combat forces. What remains of his air force has been used for limited harassment, so the imposition of a no-fly zone would not change the military situation on the ground. Even with a no-fly zone, Gadhafi would still be difficult for the rebels to defeat, and Gadhafi might still defeat the rebels.

The attractiveness of the no-fly zone in Iraq was that it provided the political illusion that steps were being taken, without creating substantial risks, or for that matter, actually doing substantial damage to Saddam Hussein’s control over Iraq. The no-fly zone remained in place for about 12 years without forcing change in Saddam’s policies, let alone regime change. The same is likely to be true in Libya. The no-fly zone is a low-risk action with little ability to change the military reality that creates an impression of decisive action. It does, as we argue, have a substantial downside, in that it entails costs and risks — including a high likelihood of at least some civilian casualties — without clear benefit or meaningful impact. The magnitude of the potential civilian toll is unknown, but its likelihood, oddly, is not in the hands of those imposing the no-fly zone, but in the hands of Gadhafi. Add to this human error and other failures inherent in war, and the outcome becomes unclear.

A more significant action would be intervention on the ground, an invasion of Libya designed to destroy Gadhafi’s military and force regime change. This would require a substantial force — and it should be remembered from Iraq that it would require a substantial occupation force to stabilize and build a new regime to govern Libya. Unlike in Egypt, Gadhafi is the regime, and sectarian elements that have been kept in check under his regime already are coming to the fore. The ability of the country to provide and administer basic government functions is also unknown. And it must also be borne in mind that Gadhafi clearly has substantial support as well as opposition. His supporters will not go without a fight and could choose to wage some form of post-invasion resistance, as in Iraq. Thus, while the initial costs in terms of casualties might be low, the long-term costs might be much higher.

It should also be remembered that the same international community that condemned Saddam Hussein as a brutal dictator quite easily turned to condemn the United States both for deposing him and for the steps its military took in trying to deal with the subsequent insurgency. It is not difficult to imagine a situation where there is extended Libyan resistance to the occupying force followed by international condemnation of the counterinsurgency effort.

Having toppled a regime, it is difficult to simply leave. The idea that this would be a quick, surgical and short-term invasion is certainly one scenario, but it is neither certain nor even the most likely scenario. In the same sense, the casualties caused by the no-fly zone would be unknown. The difference is that while a no-fly zone could be terminated easily, it is unlikely that it would have any impact on ground operations. An invasion would certainly have a substantial impact but would not be terminable.

Stopping a civil war is viable if it can be done without increasing casualties beyond what they might be if the war ran its course. The no-fly zone likely does that, without ending the civil war. If properly resourced, the invasion option could end the civil war, but it opens the door to extended low-intensity conflict.

The National Interest

It is difficult to perceive the U.S. national interest in Libya. The interests of some European countries, like Italy, are more substantial, but it is not clear that they are prepared to undertake the burden without the United States.

We would argue that war as a humanitarian action should be undertaken only with the clear understanding that in the end it might cause more suffering than the civil war. It should also be undertaken with the clear understanding that the inhabitants might prove less than grateful, and the rest of the world would not applaud nearly as much as might be liked — and would be faster to condemn the occupier when things went wrong. Indeed, the recently formed opposition council based out of Benghazi — the same group that is leading the calls from eastern Libya for foreign airstrikes against Gadhafi’s air force — has explicitly warned against any military intervention involving troops on the ground.

In the end, the use of force must have the national interest in mind. And the historical record of armed humanitarian interventions is mixed at best.


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Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:27 | 1030637 kato
kato's picture

Let the Europeans deal with it. They need some real practice. Plus, it is their backyard and the oil from Libya goes to European-use refineries.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:40 | 1030688 John Wilmot
John Wilmot's picture

Here Here. As someone said in a previous article, this is perfect opportunity to wean Europe off of American military support. That would be in the interests of the U.S. Whether Europeans would/could actually resolve the Libyan problem is another matter. Italy would have to provide the main contigent I think, as it's most directly affected, and the Italian government is already buried in debt, and probably the next major shoe to drop in the EU - don't know if a war could be afforded. Not to mention the fact that Italy's history with North Africa, and with war in general, is quite a bit less than stellar. They've been defeated by third-rate powers in the past. 


The word quagmire comes to mind for this whole mess..

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:57 | 1030745 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

yeah but doesn't the oil pay for the war??  right???  

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:09 | 1030787 thefedisscam
thefedisscam's picture

yeah, right. they said the same thing for Iraqi war. How much the U.S. ended up throwing away?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:46 | 1030710 ZackAttack
ZackAttack's picture

Italy stands to gain or lose the most. Let them carry the water.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:55 | 1030736 TeamAmerica
TeamAmerica's picture

Exactly correct.  The Europeans have been quick to exit from committments in Afghanistan, so we ought to let them deal with this one.  

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 18:37 | 1031049 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

the battle between iran and saudi arabia.....

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 19:45 | 1031322 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

And the higher costs of oil resulting from a protracted civil war in Libya have no effect on the USA, right?

In a globalized world, simplistic solutions need not apply.



Tue, 03/08/2011 - 21:50 | 1031794 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

"What happens when a no-fly zone is instituted above Libya?

I'll bite......the companies manufacturing fly-swatters complain?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 23:54 | 1032058 frankoo
frankoo's picture

What we need, is a good old fashioned "Surgical Strike".

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:29 | 1030643 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

after the no fly zone? then comes the limited fly zone with mandatory purchase of hundreds of radiation body scanners by rapiscan.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:39 | 1030676 Trundle
Trundle's picture

But before the purchase, you'll get the Easter Bunny bomber.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 22:58 | 1031952 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Sorry Careless, had to do it.

Gahdaffi, right there.

Super Fly Zone:

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:30 | 1030645 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

What happens, you ask Tyler?


Silver will be on like Donkey Kong.


Until then, all's well because Maria "my voice etches diamonds" Bartiromo is pumping BAC from their "trading" floor like a good little whore.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:34 | 1030661 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Yeah BAC is just

Hope on dividends. Where's the robosigning issues and underwater mortgage problems?

Not reported

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:48 | 1030714 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

Don't fuck with my money honey.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 20:44 | 1031559 Don Birnam
Don Birnam's picture

Mile High Club, baby !

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:32 | 1030646 Debtless
Debtless's picture

How 'bout we stay the fuck out of this mess for crying out loud.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:02 | 1030757 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture


  1. They will welcome us as liberators!  
  2. The people want democracy!
  3. Karl Rove thinks it's a good idea!
  4. It's for the children!
  5. It's not about the oil.
  6. Qaddafi has WMDs!
  7. The muslims are repressing the christians!
  8. It'll turn into an Al-Qaeda stronghold!
Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:06 | 1030778 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture


We should stay out and Obummer should quit running his mouth.

No strategic interest.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:26 | 1030838 TeamAmerica
TeamAmerica's picture

Please explain - exactly what did Obama say about Libya that upsets you so?

Also...oil is not a strategic interest?   That makes you a contrarian in the extreme, kaiserhoff.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:48 | 1030902 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I don't really understand what's so cool about all that fighting in all those wars.



If there would be any war over here where I would need to fight in to protect the interst of the group...





Tue, 03/08/2011 - 21:52 | 1031796 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Man oh man, talk about SWRichmond stealing my thunder.....

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 22:38 | 1031918 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

+8 SWR.

The play book is an open secret at this point eh?
I guess we'll all get to gnash our teeth and watch the lies being rolled out.


Wed, 03/09/2011 - 03:32 | 1032299 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Is it not supposed to keep the birds out, no?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:32 | 1030652 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Cramer said a no fly zone means oil tanks and 10% rally in stocks.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 21:52 | 1031799 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

But sgt_doom says: more money for those Somali pirates hijacking the oil tankers.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:32 | 1030654 youngman
youngman's picture

It would do nothing but piss off the just roll with the tanks and machine guns and the boots on the ground....and you would take pot shots at the planes ..possibly hitting a few...


What this is.... is Barry´s big "I am a Man" show people he is in charge...and a tough guy not just a community organizer....he is a joke...he put all his faith..whatever faith it is..... in his "I am sorry" tour of two years ago...thinking his Muslim blackness would be all that is needed...its not in the world of killers and thieves....the biggest toughest dude wins....and that used to be the USA...not anymore...He and Hillary have lost the Middle East..this "war" will go on for years....and affect the oil and gas fields...who cares about their tourist business....

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:33 | 1030655 Misean
Misean's picture
What Happens After A "No Fly Zone" Is Instituted Over Libya?

There's less to eat?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:41 | 1030686 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture


I means the airline tickets for people who have booked a Safari to Senegal WILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE!!!

my god...

another crucial part of our economy is in danger...

second thing....


Wild beast will clearly takeover Africa...


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:45 | 1030701 Misean
Misean's picture

I was refering to the flies getting banned. I rather imagine all those zoo creatures would apprecitate not having to swat as many thought.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:46 | 1030712 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

It are actually the Africans who are bugging the flies.

That's why they call it bugging.

Get it?




Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:34 | 1030659 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Post no fly zone, how about boots on the ground for another theater for the US version of a jobs program. Got a huge backlog of volunteers for the military. Sure the rational is we might as well get our dicks stuck in a few new places.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:34 | 1030660 Gubbmint Cheese
Gubbmint Cheese's picture

Here comes yet another US military base...

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:36 | 1030665 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

This should be bullish for stocks.

Like just about everything else.

And then QE-III or whatever QE number we're up to this week.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:36 | 1030673 Trundle
Trundle's picture

If you don't fight them there, you'll have to fight them here;

The invasion will be paid for with oil revenues we generate from the invasion;

Iran/Libya (name the country) is trying to obtain yellow cake from Niger (the forged Italian intelligence documents evidence of same).

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:40 | 1030681 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

What? How much money did the USA get from oil when they liberated Iraq?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:58 | 1030744 Idiot Savant
Idiot Savant's picture

Trundle is being sarcastic.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 20:01 | 1031383 RECISION
RECISION's picture

People keep forgetting the </s> tag

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:45 | 1030709 ZakuKommander
ZakuKommander's picture

Niger? It's available from Amazon, as the happy reviewers note.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:40 | 1030674 SpeakerFTD
SpeakerFTD's picture

Look, can we all agree this is really about the oil? 

Then doesn't game theory dictate that Qaddafi should blow up his refineries BEFORE there is a no-fly zone.   I mean, what will be the point of a no-fly zone if the facilities are already destroyed?   Qaddafi gets the upper hand, and forces NATO to either full-on invade, which would be a disaster, or bugger off and let him get to work massacring his people

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:46 | 1030711 John Wilmot
John Wilmot's picture

I guess we'll see...

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:02 | 1030760 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

why protect people if food prices are rising??

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:40 | 1030678 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

USA! USA! We can kick Libya's ass with one aircraft carrier in like fifteen minutes.


I'll kill you with my teacup:



Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:44 | 1030703 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture














Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:52 | 1030722 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Okie dokie. I only need to know one thing, where. they. are.


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 18:35 | 1031047 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

SD-what's that "WE" kemosabe?  U said u r outta' here. - Ned

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:41 | 1030684 pacu44
pacu44's picture

Goodie, another war! I thought we did premptive wars to stop all this nonsense and disaray?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:49 | 1030716 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

rising oil prises = nonsense & disarray

what else did you mean?


I guess somebody needs some reconditioning....

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:20 | 1030813 DumPhuck
DumPhuck's picture

Actually, we are RESPONSIBLE for the chaos and disarray....

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:49 | 1030889 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

you are right.


That's why, I clicked on the donate 20 cents button to a random good cause in my Ebay account while I bought some extra silver coins to make up for it all.












Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:40 | 1030691 Mentaliusanything
Mentaliusanything's picture

Well what ever happens I will hear about it, in full and factually.

Congratulations Zero hedge. Your with some good company here.,28804,2057116_2057343_2057267,00.html

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:40 | 1030692 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

The Italians do not have form in this regard - they treat their aircraft more like ferraris then as weapon platforms.

Tornados out of southern Italy would certainly do grave damage to the Libyan air force but I do not think they have the balls.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:48 | 1030713 metastar
metastar's picture

Italian fighter pilots hate it when a dog fight breaks out. Removing stains from the leather seats is a bitch when the espresso spills and buffing out scratches from the AA gunfire costs a fortune!

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 18:33 | 1030896 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Hey, these are serious NATO people we are talking about...............





Tue, 03/08/2011 - 19:07 | 1031178 falak pema
falak pema's picture

The Italians will fight if somebody else pays for the petrol and if there is a guaranteed banga-banga party for those who bring down a Libyan Mirage or F16 or Mig. 

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:42 | 1030697 web bot
web bot's picture

This guys thinking too much.

Libyas defences are well known.

The next stage are bombs... lots of them to take out airfields, military command and control... and the air force.

Then let the rebels take care of the rest. This for once would buy the US some good will as opposed to appearing as a colonial power.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:45 | 1030708 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Yeah baybee! Big beautiful B-52s raining death and destruction upon the brown babies of Libya! Booyah!

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:53 | 1030729 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

B-52 only carry out humanitarian mission.

Yes, it did happen in the past that some people got hurt while trying to catch all those humanitarian food & toys & clothing packages, and that's regretful.

But let's only think of them like peacekeepers.


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:58 | 1030749 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

We have a full arsenal of torpedos of truth as well as cluster bombs of happiness.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:52 | 1030720 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

you just nailed it.  By taking out known air and weapons assets, the rebels can regroup and become a real push operation.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 18:16 | 1030997 ml8ml8
ml8ml8's picture

Uh, I think you all may have a rather simplistic view of what's involved in taking out AA defenses, and I don't really have a desire to see video played on a continuous loop of a stealth bomber burning on the Libyan desert floor because some local AA gunner hit it with a golden bb.  On the other hand, I would love to see who has more skilled fighter pilots, the Italians or the Libyans.  They might just fly around each other for hours up there until someone runs out of gas and crashes.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 19:11 | 1031197 falak pema
falak pema's picture

The Italians could take out Khaddafi's three air bases by pouring their garbage dumps from Naples on the tarmac. All it takes is an Awac night flight.The stink and the spaghetti meat balls would do the rest.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 19:50 | 1031333 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Libya has good air defenses which would have to be taken out before a no-fly zone could happen.  In a ground war, with the rebels holding most of the oil facilities & Qaddaffi more or less besieged in Tripoli and lacking air support for his mercenaries, the opposition might do OK.  I'm sure we've already landed some covert CIA leadership & military advisers into rebel areas.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:54 | 1030733 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

what can possibly go wrong? (will)

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:54 | 1030735 dan10400
dan10400's picture

Yep, these bomb and pray intravengenist strategies have worked oh so well for us in the past....

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:02 | 1030759 frippy
frippy's picture

Another war for (olive) oil?

Let's invade Italy!



Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:02 | 1030763 newworldorder
newworldorder's picture

The lesson was learned in 1991 with Sadam blowing the Kuwaiti oil wells. A repeat of Libyan wells will not be allowed. The US along with NATO will do everything in their power to prevent such an event.

This is where we are today. Like it or not, the US is the guarantor of last resort for most the world's energy and financial problems.

I don't see the Russian or Chinese navies volunteering for the job. Do you?


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:33 | 1030858 Drag Racer
Drag Racer's picture

Russia and China have both publicly stated they will veto any UN resolution of a no-fly zone

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 18:13 | 1030986 newworldorder
newworldorder's picture

If the US or NATO go in, they will go in with or without a resolution. Blowing wells will not wait. And its not about no flying zones. To secure the oil infrastructure, you need "boots on the ground" as well as their logistical trains.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:04 | 1030767 Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

"The idea that this would be a quick, surgical and short-term invasion is certainly one scenario

good one. just like Afghanistan. right? it's the Christian thing to do. To kill non-Christian sovereign human beings. Good for you America. you rock.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:13 | 1030794 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

Q: What Happens After A "No Fly Zone" Is Instituted Over Libya?

A: Iran comes out to play.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 18:37 | 1031055 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

A: well, that would be interesting, n'est ce pas? - Ned

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:18 | 1030806 locinvestor
locinvestor's picture

If there's a no-fly zone, that means the military will put strict controls over press coverage.

How much MSM coverage (excluding Al Jazeera) of Libya do you trust?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:38 | 1030880 Drag Racer
Drag Racer's picture

Excluding Al Jazeera from that dis-trust would be a mistake. Director General of that org. is a globalist in bed with the rest of them...

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:20 | 1030810 bankonzhongguo
bankonzhongguo's picture

Libya is a tribal state - just like our great friends in AfPak.

Going forward in Libya is a NATO mission and NATO members would just assume the Libyans continue to kill each other off like the last 1000 years.  It is another disaster waiting to happen, which is why Team Obama will waffle their way into another Egyptian freak-show.  The US does not have the resources to even think about pulling this off either quick or well.  All that can be expected is for the US to destroy the infrastructure and pull together some British also-rans to replace Q-daffy, which will not jive with the rest of the Fremen Warriors, who will doubtless lean for China for deliverance and oil independence.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:23 | 1030823 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

I'm going long on camel breeders.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:31 | 1030852 Deepskyy
Deepskyy's picture

Well we need to do something and move on to the next clusterfuck.  I keep mispelling Libya and it makes me look like an idiot.


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 17:51 | 1030905 gwar5
gwar5's picture

The British already sent in some SAS with some M16 diplomats to seek out what the rebels needed in terms of assistance to get Ghaddafi out --- and the rebels arrested them and they were summarily sent out of Libya in disgrace. 

"We don't need no stinkin' help!"

.... Ok, bloody fine, then.


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 18:24 | 1031012 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

Let's see...What Happens After a No Fly, Murmar will be conducting tea ceremonies for his 2 remaining pilots willing to fly....

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 18:58 | 1031143 Al89
Al89's picture

1. Invade Libya.

2. Get rid of the Colonel.

3.Mission Accomplished.

4. Withdraw.

5. Power vacuum and armed warlords/tribal factions take control.

6. Somalia on the Mediterranean.

It would be strangely amusing situation to see Barbary pirates re-appear after a centuries long hiatus. Real progress for our civilization.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 19:08 | 1031186 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Basic questions: 1) what is the national interest?, 2) what is the desired end-state? 3) what are  proportional means? 4) what is the intended command structure, 5) and the beat goes on.  Then can start to get to "how could this op be pulled off?

The implications of standing up this operation are staggering.  Coupla' things: all the chillinz gotta stay above 15,000 feet agl, 'cuz the "golden bee-beez" will have their names otherwise.  (Bosnia bombing 'campaign').  Trolling vs. SAM radars and sites is also called "Geese chasing the shotgun shooters".  When the shotgun works or the "golden bee-bee" hits, then we get to see the modern leap-ex, the "tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel" aka TRAP.  Remember that 26th MEU has shipped 3/8 Mar to the Afghan and have at least 400 Marines in a lashup.

But this Gates ain't no Les Aspin, so let's pray that he doesn't fall into a baked-in-the-cake situation where our guys are doing "Blackhawk Down" redux.

USAF nay playaz here--no support anywhere within combat radius.  F-35 can't get out of its own way yet.  Kills will be knife-fight F'n-18s off the big deck.

Remember the aspirin factory? Collateral damage ain't gonna play after Gates just shed a tear for the Afghanz.

God bless 'em all.

- Ned

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 22:31 | 1031897 RECISION
RECISION's picture

Nice summation  :-)

Wed, 03/09/2011 - 13:54 | 1033477 KCMLO
KCMLO's picture

I agree with you in basic questions but not entirely with the military assessment.  Military aircraft throughout Europe would be utilized and most of those are air-refuelable so it won't be purely a Navy carrier group event.  And I don't think "Geese Chassing the shotgun shooters" is accurate at all when it comes to SEAD.  Here's exactly how it would play out (or rather, how I think it would based off previous experience).

1. B2s/F-117s strike large search radar facilities and air defense command bunkers (radar facilities are easy to find because they broadcast their location.  This isn't so tough.

2. With no ability to mount an integrated air defense the Libyan defense net becomes disjointed with only individual surface-to-air missile battery radars/AAA radars able to track incoming aircraft.

3. These SAM/AAA radars will attempt to remain operating only to discover that every time they switch on they get killed.

4. Mobile SAMs/AAAs will be the only game in town with only a few sporadic shots at aircraft, the vast majority of them unsuccessful.  The conscripts using this equipment realize the danger in turning on their radar and firing (and therefore give away their position) and will do the absolute minimum necessary to appear to be obeying orders while being extremely ineffective.

5.  I would give the Libyan Air Force maybe ONE day of attempting to still operate within a no-fly zone.  Immediately they'll instead transfer their efforts towards disbursing and hiding their remaining aircraft.

Wed, 03/09/2011 - 14:46 | 1033660 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Good description, thanks.  I'm of the mind that a) tankers are USAF's critical asset, b) can they stick up from where? in Italy and stay on station how long?  OpTempo thing mostly.

I'm not sure what the IAD might be.  But Gaddafi's guys seem to be better at any anti-air than the rebels. 

Bombers?  Yes, but SAM/AAA would be intermingled with civilians (I'm betting)  Lebanon/Hezb'allah as well as recent Gates apology in the Afghan argue for that.  Also says that Gates/Hillary/and Kerry (my senior senator, who served in Viet Nam) who will be for the air interdiction before he's against it will write/impose impossible ROE.  Whether NATO AWACS controllers can deconflict the fur-ball will remain to be seen.

We'll see.

- Ned

{and "geese vs. hunters" is from a WILD Weasel who was visiting one of my old budz-what a wild night!}



Tue, 03/08/2011 - 19:37 | 1031294 TerraHertz
TerraHertz's picture

What happens? It is so predictable, how can you even ask?

For starters, who knew about this:

"The 1st of September marks the anniversary of the opening of the major stage of Libya's Great Man-Made River Project. This incredibly huge and successful water scheme is virtually unknown in the West, yet it rivals and even surpasses all our greatest development projects. The leader of the so-called advanced countries, the United States of America cannot bring itself to acknowledge Libya's Great Man-Made River. The West refuses to recognize that a small country, with a population no more than four million, can construct anything so large without borrowing a single cent from the international banks."

Now we all know there's NOTHING the Zionist entity hates more, than seeing non-Jews and particulaly Arab neighbors succeed spectacularly. And heaven forbid, start to make serious profits. In Libya's case, by becoming a major food exporter in the region.

So, here's a prediction. Imposing the 'no fly zone' will involve quite a lot of bombing "offensive military facilities" in Libya - and the magnificent water pipeline system will be utterly destroyed. Same as all the civil infrastructure in Iraq, and same as the UZA would like to do in Iran.

Next prediction- the "suppression of hostile forces" will involve the UZA forces firing many tons of depleted uranium munitions. Resulting in Libya joining Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugloslavia, etc,in being doomed to an appalling rate of DU poisoning, radiation induced cancers and birth defects, FOR THE NEXT FOUR BILLION YEARS.

Other certainties like the UZA getting bogged down in another pointless, interminable and unaffordable war for no useful result other than destruction of Israel's neighbor Arabic nations, are merely incidental.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 20:33 | 1031518 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

I understand wanting to the let the euros do this.  Unfortunately the entire world has a lot of history to reflect on whenever europeans come bearing arms.  While it is fashionable for euros to point at themselves as peaceful types these days the rest of the world has the scars.

On the other hand if we go then I'm sure Obama will "not have a plan to win the peace!!" LOL

We will also bear the brunt of the sleepers that Germany has allowed into their country.  We've already lost two guys to this recently.  What happens when Muammar is pushed into a "use it or lose it" mode with his sleepers?


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 21:34 | 1031751 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

what are the US interests?  Clearly Khadaffi is the regime and Khadaffi can be brought to justice should the President wish it based on Lockerbie alone.  In short "he has all the authority he needs" should he wish it.  Should it be done?  I was struck by the President's personal intervention in the Egypt revolution--extraordinary really--and not something i would have ever done nor i doubt any here would advise!--and that's what makes me say "we are going all in on Libya"--but not for Libya at all but in support of the Egyptian/Tunisian revolutionaries.  We will not say this publicly nor should we--but we're already "in the saddle of this tiger"--you can ride it or it can ride you.  It is my firm belief given our committments already in the Middle East that the US has an enormous amount to lose should it do nothing--and but for the revolutionaries in Egypt i would have said we have nothing to gain.  having said that i do see a powerful potential friend in Egypt now--and to lose that friend could have catastrophic consequences.  Take out "the looney" of Libya--and do so with both a heavy heart and an even heavier hand.  If not--should Egypt head south you could see a "real scare" with far more enemies and, well, Israel as our only friend?  I'm not sure even the American people support that anymore.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 22:06 | 1031837 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

Might be why China is moving several war ships and military aircraft closer to the shores of Libya. I would not be surprised if the Russians are doing the same.

They probably do not want to see another Iraq is my guess.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 23:27 | 1032008 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

What is a World War without the whole world represented?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 23:23 | 1032000 horseman
horseman's picture

What we really need to know is if Col Gadaffi pulls it off and puts the rebellion down, will he finally get promoted to General? 

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 23:25 | 1032005 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture







Saudia Arabia


Fuck it!

I want Turkey with Greece, and that little Cypress looks cute too! 

We can add them to our collection. We will soon have Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan under control. We won't really have anything for our troops to do any way.

And then they'll share all their oil with us.



Wed, 03/09/2011 - 01:08 | 1032182 Madhouse
Madhouse's picture

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again

Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some...stranger's hand
In a...desperate land

Lost in a Roman...wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

There's danger on the edge of town
Ride the King's highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby

Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake...he's old, and his skin is cold

The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here, and we'll do the rest

The blue bus is callin' us
The blue bus is callin' us
Driver, where you taken' us

The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and...then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door...and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother...I want to...fuck you

C'mon baby, take a chance with us
C'mon baby, take a chance with us
C'mon baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin' a blue rock
On a blue bus
Doin' a blue rock
C'mon, yeah

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end



Wed, 03/09/2011 - 01:55 | 1032240 trav7777
trav7777's picture

as far as the Euros, only France has the naval air power necessary to even attempt this.  Nobody else in the world has a CVN, and the Russians are the only other party flying a 4G fighter off of a deck.

Either the US will impose the no-fly or else nobody will.

Wed, 03/09/2011 - 04:39 | 1032334 Kiwi Pete
Kiwi Pete's picture

I don't think Obama wants to get stuck in this tar baby. That's why he said he will only act with the approval of the security council. The Chinese will never agree to that as it sets a bad precedent. Imagine what pressure will come to impose a no-fly zone on them once they start to masacre their students again.

Wed, 03/09/2011 - 04:52 | 1032339 Coldfire
Coldfire's picture

"Calls are growing for a no-fly zone over Libya".

Yeah, let's you and him fight.

Wed, 03/09/2011 - 05:53 | 1032365 TerraHertz
TerraHertz's picture

Maybe the CIA has realized that with Libya's massive new desert irrigation scheme, the place is now ideal for poppy growing. Much more convenient than Afghanistan.

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