Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Operation Oddysey Dawn, on the road to the Q-word.

Rebels flee their positions after shelling from Gaddafi's forces near Ajdabiyah, March 25, 2011.
REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Well this certainly isn't helpful for Operation Oddysey Dawn.   I mean, dangit.  Who could have seen this coming?   Libya crisis: Gaddafi forces adopt rebel tactics   
"...The first is that Colonel Gaddafi's army has decided to follow methods which the rebels have used so successfully.  Its men are racing forward in the ordinary flat-bed trucks known elsewhere in Africa as 'technicals', with heavy machine-guns or anti-aircraft guns mounted on the back.  Others are equipped with mortars. Though these are quite light, they often cause great panic among the rebels, and are quick and easy to move forward...
.. it was fairly easy to destroy tanks and artillery from the air, even though, as we now know, the coalition's aircraft and missiles had difficulty dealing with tanks that had been well camouflaged or were stationed in narrow streets between houses, where ordinary civilians live.
Now the pro-Gaddafi forces have largely switched to the use of "technicals" of the kind the rebels use, the coalition will have much more difficulty identifying which ones belong on which side."
The original plan was to protect civilians caught up in the civil war/rebellion/insurgency by destroying the Libyan military assets, machine and otherwise with pinpoint airstrikes. Boom, done.  That worked as planned, so now the Libyan military is tooling around in attack trucks just like the rebels'.  So the coalition will have to change tactics or risk watching the whole thing turn into Operation Oddysey Dusk.

Next predictable development..  CIA advisers on the ground to gather intelligence and make contacts with the rebels/terrorists/freedom fighters and to direct airstrikes on their behalf.  C.I.A. in Libya Aiding Rebels, U.S. Officials Say 
"..While President Obama has insisted that no American ground troops join in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks and are part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help set back Colonel Qaddafi’s military, the officials said.
The C.I.A. presence comprises an unknown number of American officers who had worked at the spy agency’s station in Tripoli and those who arrived more recently. In addition, current and former British officials said, dozens of British special forces and MI6 intelligence officers are working inside Libya. The British operatives have been directing airstrikes from British Tornado jets and gathering intelligence about the whereabouts of Libyan government tank columns, artillery pieces, and missile installations, the officials said."
To succeed this operation will take more than precision airstrikes. Clue; boots.  Is President Obama ready to go to Congress and the people and make a case to escalate this war/peacekeeping/ effort to bring about a regime change in Libya? I hope not.  I think he's smarter than that, but who can say.

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