Libyan tangle: NATO is frustrated
Libyan rebels believe that only a British and French intervention can save civilians in the country. The rebels in the Misarat, which is under siege, have urged the NATO coalition to launch a ground operation. In response, London and Paris pledged to launch more air attacks on the government facilities and send military advisers to help rebels. Moscow has warned the European Union that a ground operation will fraught with serious consequences and referred to experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our commentary is by Igor Siletsky.
Several senior officers of the British Army will leave for Libya to help the rebels. According to London, they will be accommodated in Benghazi and will try to form a battle-worthy force from the isolated groups. Meanwhile, France said that a few communications officers will work with the Provisional National Council to protect civilians.
Both countries reject reports that the sending of advisers is linked to a possible ground invasion of Libya. At the same time, the military insist that the problem of Gaddafi cannot be solved only by air attacks. In short, the story reminds of a knot, which is almost impossible to undo as the coalition imagined originally. Disappointment over the coalition’s action is growing among the so-called “fighters for democracy”. London-based The Financial Times, quoting a senior NATO official says that the landing of forces in Libya will sharply escalate the conflict. This may split the alliance since many members have no intention to be involved in launching air attacks. Consequently, NATO officers have concluded that there is a need to find a political solution to solve the crisis. The NATO official ended his interview saying that he is frustrated.
During the coalition operation in Libya it has become clear that the West’s target was Gaddafi. Recently, Britain and France have insisted on the need to adopting a new UN resolution that should pave the way for liberating Libya from Gaddafi. It seems that Washington supports such a move. In these circumstances many people are asking whether the West has prepared the fate of Saddam Hussein for Gaddafi. This is logical when taking into account the fact that the coalition is stubbornly reject the calls by the Libyan leaders for holding negotiations. In fact, Tripoli said it was ready to carry out reforms, adopt a constitution and hold elections, and Gaddafi is even ready to step down.
The determination of the coalition to remove Gaddafi may lead to unpredictable consequences, says an expert in oriental studies, Vyacheslav Matuzov.
“Gaddafi cannot withstand the opposition and NATO if he is not supported by some part of the population. This means he is supported. I believe that here the case is refusal by the U.S. to accept any proposal for holding negotiations. This is incorrect approach that leads to a deadlock and worsening the military and political situation in the country and North Africa as a whole,” Vyacheslav Matuzov said.
Moscow has warned that the consequences of a ground operation will be unpredictable. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the coalitions must be guided by the UN Security Council resolution in solving the Libyan conflict. He reminded that many operations were started sending military advisers and ended with large-scale wars and thousands of casualties.
[Source: By Igor Siletsky, The Voice of Russia, Moscow, 21Apr11]
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