American withdrawal – big setback for Coalition
Laaska News April 06,2011.
Vyacheslav Nikonov, President of the Policy Foundation:
Download Photo: EPA
Of course, the American involvement was absolutely critical at the initial stage of the military operation, when the mission was to introduce the no-fly zone, and that’s what Americans did by launching hundreds of “Tomahawks” and destroying the air defenses of Libya.
Then, of course, the mission of the coalition somewhat changed, despite the UN resolution supporting the forces of resistance to Gaddafi on the ground, which was a completely different mission, and not extremely successful, since, yes, they managed to destroy some of the personnel and armed vehicles of the regime, but at the same time did not prevent Gaddafi’s forces from taking back the strategic initiative and kicking the rebels off some key positions.
So, at this point, the outcome of the battle is not at all clear, though the Western coalition, of course, invested a lot of its prestige in the success of this operation, by introducing the force, and by insisting that Gaddafi should go, but he is not going, and it looks like that he is succeeding, at least, in some areas of Libya. The American withdrawal, of course, would be a big, big setback for the coalition and the forces of resistance.
What is gonna happen in the end, in the long run? I think, now, everything depends on the willingness of the European powers to act up to the end and to really commit their military and political and human might against Gaddafi. It looks like at this point just air attacks would not solve the situation. It may involve some surface operation, in which Americans are definitely not going to participate.
Obama doesn’t want to have a third big war with American casualties, especially not after he’s declared that he is going to run for President for the second term, so, in any case, if the coalition is going to prevail, it’ll take much more time for them to do that without American assistance than with it.