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Turmoil in Libya (2011) and post-Gaddafi blowback

jeffb

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Canada's mission in Libya extended
National Transitional Council recognized as representative of Libyan people
By Laura Payton, CBC News
Posted: Jun 14, 2011 10:17 AM ET

The House of Commons has overwhelmingly voted to extend Canada's mission in Libya for three and a half months.

The Conservative motion passed by a vote of 294-1, with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May being the lone member of Parliament to vote against.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/06/14/pol-libya-debate.html?ref=rss
 

NavyShooter

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Rushed in yes, but with no boots on the ground, perhaps the directness of the involvement is different.

Airplanes can be re-tasked.

Ships can be re-deployed.

It is a mission that is not without risks, but sending more air assest and extending the sea-based portion of the mission is not as great an involvement as putting people ashore.

NS
 

Good2Golf

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milnews.ca said:
The debate, if you're interested, here in Hansard.

I must say, the debate was a refreshingly responsible and informed plural discourse on an important issue.  :nod:
 

Redeye

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Thucydides said:
Given our escalating involvement, how soon until we see a "boots on the ground" mission like an OMLET for the reble forces or a PRT to rebuild the devastated areas?

Sadly, we rushed in for poorly defined reasons, supporting a rebelion who's leaders and aims we still don't fully know on an open ended mission which really has more to do with the protection of British and French oil interests in the region.

I don't see this going well at all

It's actually Italian oil interests that are the largest, and Canada has a fairly sizeable investment there as well.  The debate in Hansard was an interesting read, becasue there's a lot of good we seem to want to do there, and certainly Libya will need a lot of help once the rebellion succeeds in ousting Mr. Gadhafi.  The involvement we have throughout will likely go a long way to influence the direction that whatever new government emerges choose to take.  What role will the CF have then?  Not clear yet - we haven't actually committed to anything, after all.  Good thing, too.
 

The Bread Guy

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Thucydides said:
Given our escalating involvement, how soon until we see a "boots on the ground" mission like an OMLET for the reble forces or a PRT to rebuild the devastated areas?

Sadly, we rushed in for poorly defined reasons, supporting a rebelion who's leaders and aims we still don't fully know on an open ended mission which really has more to do with the protection of British and French oil interests in the region.

I don't see this going well at all
I stand to be corrected, but I don't see a huge any public appetite for Canadian boots on the ground here.  More likely outcome to me would be keep extending status quo until rebels get a grip (when - ?), then GTFO.

- edited to qualify even more -
 

OldSolduer

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I cannot see the public supporting a "boots on the ground" scenario.  Just my  :2c:
 

old medic

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Canada's Hercs star in dangerous ballet of mid-air refuelling
PAUL KORING
14 June 2011
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/africa-mideast/canadas-hercs-star-in-dangerous-ballet-of-mid-air-refuelling/article2061109/

It only looks easy.

A pair of needle-nosed warplanes suddenly appear, needing fuel before they make the last dash across the Libyan coast to their targets. In the next few minutes, the bomb-laden Italian Tornados will stage a delicate, high-speed, close encounter with lumbering Canadian Hercules, and as a matter of practised routine transfer 10 tonnes of fuel in midair.

“They are bit early,” chides the Canadian pilot, who like the rest of the crew aboard the air refueller can’t be named. The Tornados, far faster and manoeuvrable, close in on the left side of the Herc. One slides behind and below, and reappears behind the right wing. Then, edging forward, the fighter pilots poke probes that jut ahead and above their cockpits into a pair of fanlike drogues streaming back from the Herc’s wings and start taking on fuel. In less than six minutes it is over....................
continues at link above.



How social media users are helping NATO fight Gadhafi in Libya
GRAEME SMITH
14 June 2011
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/africa-mideast/how-social-media-users-are-helping-nato-fight-gadhafi-in-libya/article2060965/
Every morning at 7:30 a.m., in the picturesque woodlands of rural Ontario, a retired auto shop manager named Janice Clinch helps her grandson get ready for school and fires up her computer for another day of battle in the Libyan desert.

The 59-year-old has never met anybody from Libya. She has not visited the Arab world; chronic pain makes it hard for her to get around. But from her home near Seeley’s Bay, 40 kilometres northeast of Kingston, she joined a committed cadre of social media users who have become, in effect, volunteer intelligence analysts. On Twitter, Facebook and other services, they discuss satellite images, vessel tracking data and the latest gossip from their sources inside the country. ....................
continues at link above






 

The Bread Guy

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Shared in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright  Act
....Only eight of the 28 NATO states have provided planes for strike missions in Libya and pressure by Gates on others with available resources to do so, such as Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey and Germany, appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

Already Norway has announced it will have to scale back its contribution of strike aircraft this month and end their role in August, while European NATO stalwart Britain has said continuing the mission beyond September could be a challenge that could require diversion of resources from elsewhere.

Analysts say this could mean from NATO's war in Afghanistan, still termed the alliance's number-one priority.

Worse looms over the horizon, with France indicating it will need in the autumn to withdraw the Libyan mission's only aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, on virtually continuous operations since last year -- with no replacement in the offing.

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

"The elephant in the room is the imminent departure of the French carrier, given it has been flying 30-40 percent of all NATO strike sorties," said Tim Ripley, of Jane's Defense Weekly.

"It's a looming problem, so sustaining this operation, particularly if it's going to grind past September or October, is going to be a problem."

In the absence of other allies coming forward with strike aircraft that could be flown from land bases -- which would necessitate a fleet of refueling tankers only the United States could provide -- one radical solution would be for Britain to redeploy decommissioned Harrier aircraft to its carrier HMS Illustrious, which was designated for conversion into a helicopter ship in Britain's defense review.

However, even if such a tricky political decision were taken by British Prime Minister David Cameron, it would be up to four months before the ship was ready for action, Ripley said.

A senior NATO commander conceded the extent of the worry on Tuesday. French General Stephane Abrial said the Libyan crisis had come as "a surprise" and if it were to last a long time "the resources issue will become critical."

Douglas Barrie, a military aviation specialist at London's International Institute of Strategic Studies, said that when Western powers launched the war in March, they appeared to be anticipating a quick mission.

"There may have been the view they would be pushing on an open door, but as the campaign has developed, it's become apparent that Gaddafi is not simply going to hang up his hat and leave the country," Barrie said ....
Source:  Reuters
 

old medic

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Canadian jet fighters join NATO raids on Tripoli
The Canadian Press
16 June 2011
http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20110616/nato-canada-bombing-110616/

OTTAWA — Canadian warplanes have bombed the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

A Canadian Forces spokesman confirms that CF-18 jet fighters took part in four days of targeted strikes last weekend.

But the spokesman could not say whether any of the strikes came close to hitting Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

The Canadian jets were involved in day and night raids on Tripoli, which has recently been the focus of more intense NATO bombing.

They struck at depots housing armoured vehicles in an attempt to degrade Gadhafi's command-and-control structures.

Canada has six fighter jets taking part in the NATO-led bombardment enforcing a United Nations resolution to protect civilians from Gadhafi.
 

The Bread Guy

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<foilhat>?
Infowars.com has received alarming reports from within the ranks of military stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas confirming plans to initiate a full-scale U.S.-led ground invasion in Libya and deploy troops by October.

The source stated that additional Special Forces are headed to Libya in July, with the 1st Calvary Division (heavy armor) and III Corps deploying in late October and early November. Initial numbers are estimated at 12,000 active forces and another 15,000 in support, totaling nearly 30,000 troops.

This information was confirmed by numerous calls and e-mails from other military personnel, some indicating large troop deployment as early as September. Among these supporting sources is a British S.A.S. officer confirming that U.S. Army Rangers are already in Libya. The chatter differs in the details, but the overall convergence is clear– that a full-on war is emerging this fall as Gaddafi continues to evade attempts to remove him from power.

A caller identified as “Specialist H” working for mortuary affairs under USCENTCOM revealed that there have already been American casualties inside Libya. He confirmed that at least 2 soldiers and 3 civilians have died from combat bullet wounds, something the media has yet to report, and needs to investigate and address.
Source
</foilhat>
 

The Bread Guy

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Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says he's planning a trip to eastern Libya so he can see first-hand how the country's rebels are doing.

Baird says he will go to Benghazi, the base for the National Transitional Council, and says he's still making plans.

Baird met Thursday's with the council's Canadian liaison, Ottawa businessman Sufyan Maghur.

Baird said it was a good meeting but he wants to hear more from the council's more senior members ....
Source
 

GAP

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Killing Gadhafi not my job: Canadian general
11:43 am, June 22nd, 2011
Article Link

BRYN WEESE | QMI AGENCY
OTTAWA - Moammar Gadhafi is a "formidable" enemy who is hiding out in hospitals and mosques to avoid NATO bombs and has lost the moral authority to govern, says the Canadian general heading up NATO's mission in Libya.

But Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard said it's not his job to seek out Gadhafi and kill him - or even remove him from power - despite what allied politicians might say.

"I do not have a mandate to engage Gadhafi directly. I engage...bona fide military targets, and will continue to run this campaign that way," Bouchard said by telephone from Naples, Italy, Wednesday. "My commitment is to ending the violence...The NATO mission is clear, and I'm committed to meeting those ends."

Last week, Canada's ministers of foreign affairs and defence hinted Gadhafi would have to be removed from power before Libyans could achieve peace.

Bouchard says NATO has launched more than 4,500 strikes against pro-Gadhafi forces since the campaign began earlier this year, and the pro-Gadhafi forces are attacking Libyan civilians less frequently and in fewer parts of the country.

Humanitarian aid is getting through without problems in most areas, especially the rebel-controlled east, and Bouchard estimates pro-Gadhafi forces have shrunk by "more than half" since the campaign began.

"But it's not a question of numbers for me," he said. "It's a question of effect. Is the population still under fire, and is the population still in danger today?"

As for an end to the NATO mission - British officials have guessed it could be finished by December - Bouchard said it's impossible to predict, though he won't initiate a ceasefire.
More on link
 

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Libya: Is Nato-rebel alliance turning sour?

BBC NEWS
By Andrew Harding, Africa Correspondent.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13792846

There's a joke going around the frontlines here in Misrata - one borne of growing frustration with Nato.

When the rebels see jets overhead failing to attack any of the rocket launchers pounding their positions they shrug and say: "It must be Canada's turn this week."

I'm sure the Canadians don't deserve to be the brunt of such dark humour, but the sense of disappointment with Nato's military performance around this besieged city is palpable.

"I feel upset… I'm not satisfied," says Fathi Bashaga, when I ask him to sum up his attitude to Nato.

Mr Bashaga, a senior military official here and the man who acts as coordinator between the rebels and Nato, says he speaks constantly by satellite phone to "a man" from the western security alliance who is based in Benghazi, the rebel headquarters.

"Nato decisions are very slow and very complicated. Nato send aircraft for reconnaissance, they take a picture, they take time to analyse the picture, then take time to take the decision to send the fighter to attack the target. Then the target moved.

"Gaddafi forces now learn Nato [are] forbidden to attack schools and mosques so they hide their tanks and rockets near them. Also, Nato only striking at night-time for two or three hours. Apaches also attacking in night-time. Not one of our fighters saw Apaches until now," Mr Bashaga says.
Rebel rivalry

I asked him if he complained to Nato.

"Yes, we complain and tell them," he says.

And Nato's reply? "They listen to us, but they are not saying anything."

The Canadian air force is the butt of jokes in rebel circles in Libya

Is it fair criticism? Or is this simply the coming-down-to-earth frustration of a rebel movement that managed, against the odds, to win control of its own city in close-combat fighting, but now finds itself struggling on open ground without the necessary equipment and against a far better armed enemy?

The rebels are trying to advance, on various fronts, towards Zliten - a town some 50km (31 miles) to the west of Misrata. But it is complicated.

"It's pride mostly," says Lameen Mustapha Ashwedi, who commands one of the battalions on the western front.

Anti-Gaddafi forces in Zliten have made it clear they don't want to be "liberated" by their neighbours from Misrata.

"They want to do something by themselves for their city, so that they can say in the future that they liberated their own city. It's about history for them," explains Mr Ashwedi.

His forces are still pushing forward and trying to outflank Col Gaddafi's forces around Zliten. But he reckons it could be several weeks before the town falls.
 

HavokFour

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Hey, NATO could just pack it's bags and leave allowing this civil war to run its natural course. The rebels should stop whining and be grateful for the help their little faction has received.
 

NavyShooter

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Little help??

Um....yeah....ok....pretty sure they got more than just a "little" help....

NS
 

GAP

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Cleaning Up Libya
June 26, 2011
Article Link

The U.S. has arranged for experienced mine clearing and explosives disposal crews to find and dispose of landmines and abandoned (but still dangerous) munitions in Libya. The United States will pay for this with the understanding that emphasis will be on finding and handing over shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles. Libya is believed to have thousands of these, stored at many locations. Most of these missiles are quite old. But because they are Russian, there are new batteries and other replacement parts available on the black market.

These missiles are much sought after by terrorists, but have become harder to get during the last few years. That's largely because of an eight year old American program that hunts down and destroys these missiles. Over 32,000 have been found and destroyed so far. That's out of about a million that have been manufactured in the last half century. Most have been destroyed (because of old age or obsolescence) in that time, but thousands are believed to be unaccounted for and possibly in the wind.

Until quite recently, shoulder fired surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), usually Russian SA-7s, could be had for less than $20,000 each on the black market. Helicopters are easy targets for older SAMs like the SA-7, and it's usually helicopters that terrorists fear most. More advanced missiles, like the SA-14 or 18, cost upwards of $100,000 dollars each, but are even more effective against helicopters, and have a chance against fast moving jets (while coming in low to attack.) Sa-7 type weapons can also be used against commercial airliners while taking off and landing, but that is not how terrorists prefer to use the missiles. The main target is police or soldiers in helicopters, searching for terrorists.

For terrorists, the problem is that the black market for arms has been heavily infiltrated by American agents, especially since September 11, 2001. For this reason, the arms merchants are unwilling to move SA-7 type weapons to terrorists. The reason is simple. If the missiles are used successfully, Americans will likely trace the weapon back to the source, and keep coming. Gunrunners are basically out to make money, not play hardball with U.S. counter-terrorism agencies. Nations that manufacture these low budget SAMs (Russia, China) do not want a spat with the U.S. over this, and warn their customers that there will be repercussions if the missiles fall into the wrong hands, and the Americans come looking for suppliers.

Islamic groups are sending people to Libya, hoping to score some loose Sa-7s. The U.S. and NATO told the Libyan rebels that financial, military and diplomatic assistance was contingent on cooperation in rounding up Sa-7s. A deal was struck, and the search is on. An initial survey found that most Libyan ammo storage sites had been looted. A few Sa-7s had been found abandoned, and it is feared that many of the ones recently taken from arms depots may be on their way out of the country.
end
 

old medic

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HMCS Vancouver headed to join Libyan mission
The Canadian Press
29 June 2011
copy at: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20110629/hmcs-vancouver-sailing-for-libya-110629/

ESQUIMALT, B.C. — The frigate HMCS Vancouver is preparing to leave for the Mediterranean Sea to take part in the NATO-led mission in Libya.

Vancouver, a Halifax-class frigate, carries about 250 officers and crew and includes a CH-124 Sea King helicopter and air detachment.

The ship will replace HMCS Charlottetown, which has been on patrol with NATO forces in the region since the early spring.

In March, Canada sent fighter jets, patrol planes, aerial tankers and the warship to join a United Nations-sanctioned mission to protect civilians from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The mission includes bombing by NATO countries who are trying to drive Gadhafi from power.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird visited Libya this week after Canada recognized rebels fighting Gadhafi as the legitimate government of that country.
 

VIChris

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Not exactly sure what you wish a bunch of sailors on a mission, but here's to calm seas and a safe return for the crew of the Vancouver. :salute:
 
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