Libya

Libya: After-Action Report

Now that Moammar Gaddafi has been consigned to history, it’s time to figure out who — other than the Libyan people, hopefully — wins from the seven-month fight that toppled his 42-year regime.

As we noted Thursday — and was echoed Friday in the New York Times and Washington Post, among other foghorns — President Obama gets …

Gaddafi Alive — Then Dead

Al Jazeera has posted new footage of the Libyan dictator who appears to be alive and in rebel hands. Later footage shows him dead on the street. This raises obvious questions about how, exactly, he died.

Warning: the video is graphic and disturbing.

Libya’s Lessons

Moammar Gaddafi’s death makes for an interesting punctuation mark in the ever-evolving U.S. approach to war. The key choice: should it be an exclamation point (“We got him! And not a single American died!) or a question mark (“Did we just get lucky? Is this a template for how the U.S. should wage future wars?”).

We shouldn’t …

Searching for the Not-So-Holy Grail

The State Department has put together a nifty guide for North African agents of fortune and influence (not to mention border guards) if they think they’ve come across some of the thousands of surface-to-air missiles purportedly pilfered during Libya’s recent unpleasantness. Given Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s surprise visit to …

GOP Debate Shows Freedom Fries are Long Gone

The GOP has been demonstrably hawkish for decades. Part of this is philosophical, but acting tough has also been reliable currency in the Republican Party for years.

It’s interesting what 10 years of war will do.

Politicians know which way the wind blows, and America is war-weary — ten-years-of-war weary. They are sick of the …

Right Where We’ve Always Wanted Us

Philip Stephens of the Financial Times recently pens a rather pessimistic piece on what Libya said about “Britain’s pretensions of influence.” Noting that the “campaign has stretched the armed forces to their limit,” he calls it a “last hurrah.” Now, the underlying tone of the piece is his criticism of PM David Cameron’s desire to …

Why Do Bombs Keep Falling on Libya?

There’s been no reduction in NATO’s bombing of targets inside Libya since rebels forces stormed in and took over most of Tripoli August 21, sending Muammar Gaddafi into hiding. What’s left to attack?

NATO is glad you asked. “From an air component perspective, NATO is still very much involved in monitoring the situation and …

A Less-American Way of War?

We have written about how the war against Libya was waged differently than such multilateral campaigns of the past. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen even told Battleland that the “balance shift[ed] a bit” in the Libyan campaign. “We have been used to the fact that the U.S. should be in the very front line, and absolutely be …

Globalization at the Barrel of a Gun

That phrase, with its powerful imagery, was often tossed at me following the publication of my 2004 book, The Pentagon’s New Map. In it, I argued that globalization’s expansion was, and would continue to be, the primary cause of unrest and conflict in the world, as connectivity – in all its forms – extended itself into the …

Libya: Dirty Thoughts About Dirty Bombs

Before the rebels finish celebrating — and catch Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi (or don’t) — it’s worth noting that 42 years of dictatorship can leave some dangerous residue behind. Olli Heinonen, a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, is a former deputy director of the

The Game-Changer in Libya: Time

The game-changer in terms of effective NATO air support for the Libyan rebels was time. That’s because it took months for NATO to re-create a coalition-style precision air strike campaign similar to what the United States leads daily in places like Afghanistan.

Battleland has talked about the air war above Libya with U.S. …

Libya’s Non-Practical Endgame

When an airplane stops flying fast enough to generate the lift it needs to stay aloft, pilots call it a stall. We tend to call it a crash. That’s what has happened to the Libyan rebels in the last 36 hours or so. Their triumphant ride into Tripoli has crashed onto the pockets of tenacious resistance still occupied by those loyal to …

How Gaddafi Lost His Grip on Libya

Muammar Gaddafi is falling as Libya’s leader after 42 years because of sharpening NATO air strikes, allied intelligence shared with the rebels, the rebels’ own improved military tactics, and the simple passage of time. Additional allied assistance — consisting of training and equipping the rebel forces – also has helped speed up …

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