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How did Moammar win?

Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
Before the earthquake I kept reading how he was on the run, how the rebels had taken over the country and he was desperate in his palace offering money to anyone who would help him, the whole world's leadership said he needed to step down, and that things were going to change.

The Japanese earthquake hits, I stop reading bout Moammar for a week, and now everything has completely reversed, the crowds are cheering him, the rebels are all but beaten into a single city, and nothing will change.

What the heck happened?

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    SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    His soldiers were trained, equiped and organized.

    The rebels were winning battles by random guys with guns all just swarming. Over time, the lack of organization, equipment and training allowed the government troops to regain the upper hand.

    For instance, the rebels could have stopped the government advance despite their artillery and air cover had they thought at some point to dig trenches. But they didn't.

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    Anarchy Rules!Anarchy Rules! Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The sentiment is correct, but in a country like Libya trenches would have been pointless. It's much too big, and the reason why the war was so fluid during WW2 in North Africa.

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    SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The sentiment is correct, but in a country like Libya trenches would have been pointless. It's much too big, and the reason why the war was so fluid during WW2 in North Africa.

    No no. In protecting themselves from bombardment when defending cities along the narrow coastal strip, not in the sense of WWI style trenches that created 100 mile fronts.

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    QliphothQliphoth Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Artillery/aircraft bombing scattering untrained rebels. A willingness to kill civilians is also helping.

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    Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The sentiment is correct, but in a country like Libya trenches would have been pointless. It's much too big, and the reason why the war was so fluid during WW2 in North Africa.
    Just like in WWII, this war is being fought along a very narrow front running along the coastline. There's really only one coastal road over which the combatants are able to run troops and supplies. Even though they have a weapons disadvantage, if the rebels had been more organized they would have been able to force the loyalist forces into attacking fortified positions. That would have made a serious difference and would have made any gains much more costly for the loyalists, at the very least.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    And Ghaddafi(sp?) has apparently been pretty successful at convincing people the rebels are actually Al Qaeda.

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    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Honestly the lesson in Libya appears to be that if you're willing to murder vast swathes of civilians you get to stay in power.

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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Moammar is fighting a war, with all the ruthlessness that entails.

    A real war, not a "conflict" or "peacekeeping action" or any of the other terms used to describe half-committed fighting limited by rules and conditions.

    Actual warfare is extremely effective, extremely ugly, and usually is only beaten by an opponent who's better at waging it. The idealistic Ghandi stuff only really works when the other side isn't willing to fully commit to war, like in Egypt.

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    Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    He's using fighter jets to bomb guys using scavenged assault rifles. It's really not very surprising, the only hope the rebels ever really had was outside assistance. They're not going to get that from the UN because Russia and China don't swing that way and the U.S. doesn't want to wage another war in the Middle East.

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    DJ Cam CamDJ Cam Cam Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    He's using fighter jets to bomb guys using scavenged assault rifles. It's really not very surprising, the only hope the rebels ever really had was outside assistance. They're not going to get that from the UN because Russia and China don't swing that way and the U.S. doesn't want to wage another war in the Middle East.
    I'm sad for whats going on over there but really glad that the U.S. didn't intervene.

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    DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    BubbaT wrote: »
    Moammar is fighting a war, with all the ruthlessness that entails.

    A real war, not a "conflict" or "peacekeeping action" or any of the other terms used to describe half-committed fighting limited by rules and conditions.

    Actual warfare is extremely effective, extremely ugly, and usually is only beaten by an opponent who's better at waging it. The idealistic Ghandi stuff only really works when the other side isn't willing to fully commit to war, like in Egypt.

    Try telling that to the idealistic Ghandi proponents who argue for pacifism even in the case of war.

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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If we want Moammar out of power the rebels need support of a real military.

    Afghanistan showed the success possible with using a local ground force and western air power to win a military victory. And also the limit of changing a regiem being called a success

    Considering the ability to use Italy as a ground base for the air force, it'd be nice to see a no-fly zone, followed by a real military intervention. Armored Vehicles in the desert have a bad track-record in the last 20 years vs the USAF.

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    SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    Artillery/aircraft bombing scattering untrained rebels.

    I hear they are all on drugs.

    So that probably makes them easy to freak out.

    They lost half their strength in bat country.

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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    DJ Cam Cam wrote: »
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    He's using fighter jets to bomb guys using scavenged assault rifles. It's really not very surprising, the only hope the rebels ever really had was outside assistance. They're not going to get that from the UN because Russia and China don't swing that way and the U.S. doesn't want to wage another war in the Middle East.
    I'm sad for whats going on over there but really glad that the U.S. didn't intervene.

    It'd be nice to see some muscle-flexing out of Europe, since its literally their back yard. Its closer to Spain/France/Italy than any of the Balkans shit was.

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    Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    DJ Cam Cam wrote: »
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    He's using fighter jets to bomb guys using scavenged assault rifles. It's really not very surprising, the only hope the rebels ever really had was outside assistance. They're not going to get that from the UN because Russia and China don't swing that way and the U.S. doesn't want to wage another war in the Middle East.
    I'm sad for whats going on over there but really glad that the U.S. didn't intervene.

    Yeah honestly I don't know what we should do. Anything involving our military is going to turn into a war in Libya, no matter what. Seems like a good opportunity to just give the rebels a bunch of weapons and equipment but a) seems like that would escalate too and b) how the fuck do we know if these guys are trustworthy and wouldn't just turn into another Taliban-like regime that we need to come back and dismantle in 20 years?

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    SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    Artillery/aircraft bombing scattering untrained rebels. A willingness to kill civilians is also helping.

    The phrase used by the U.S. Navy's strategic thinkers (and probably elsewhere in DOD) is "Disconnectedness Equals Danger." The more connected your government is to the global economy and the international community, the more you have to lose by exercising force against either your own people or another nation-state. Conversely, the more disconnected your government is, the less you have to lose -- and not only that, but the rest of the international community has less soft-power leverage to wield in disincentivizing you away from the use of force, which makes a military solution to any diplomatic conflict increasingly more-likely. So in Egypt's case, economic and diplomatic ties to the west made it untenable for Mubarak to use force against his rioting populace because the international community wouldn't stand for it. Whereas in Qaddafi's case, he doesn't really have anything more to lose by using indiscriminate violence.

    On broader strategic topics, this is why European powers are more eager to engage with Iran than the United States' elected politicians have been. The thought is that normalizing relations with Iran will gradually force them also to normalize their own internal politics by increasing their reliance on the rest of the world at large.

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    Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Considering the ability to use Italy as a ground base for the air force, it'd be nice to see a no-fly zone, followed by a real military intervention. Armored Vehicles in the desert have a bad track-record in the last 20 years vs the USAF.

    What ability? Berlusconi loves Gaddhafi. He's not going to let that happen.

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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I forgot about Berlusconi, I was just thinking geographically. Could we just take them both out?

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    BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Under A Rock: AfganistanRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    From what I have heard the un vote might go through because Russia and china,etc might be convinced to abstain. It seems like the just option but damn if we need another war.

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    DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Barcardi wrote: »
    From what I have heard the un vote might go through because Russia and china,etc might be convinced to abstain. It seems like the just option but damn if we need another war.

    Well, in this case it would be unlikely that occupation would be needed. Just destroying Gaddafi's military capabilities. Gulf War 1, not 2. Honestly, U.S. would roll all over Gaddafi in less then a week through pure air power alone. It would be no contest. I don't see the likely hood of any casualties.

    Might actually raise spirits at the States.

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    SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Barcardi wrote: »
    From what I have heard the un vote might go through because Russia and china,etc might be convinced to abstain. It seems like the just option but damn if we need another war.

    Well, in this case it would be unlikely that occupation would be needed. Just destroying Gaddafi's military capabilities. Gulf War 1, not 2. Honestly, U.S. would roll all over Gaddafi in less then a week through pure air power alone. It would be no contest. I don't see the likely hood of any casualties.

    What you're discussing are tactics. What you're missing is a strategy. In a country that's been ruled by an autocratic dictator for 40 years which has no opposition leaders or political parties, how do you determine who is responsible for keeping the lights on once the existing power is deposed? How is order maintained until that determination is made?

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    SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2011
    The rebels are really really badly trained. The gains they made due to the element of surprise are lost because they lack any cohesive strategy.

    One of the things NPR pointed out is that one of the towns recently retaken by Qadaffi's forces was done so very easily. The rebels managed to push Qadaffi back and instead of fortifying their position or keeping the heat on, the immediately began to celebrate. Not long after tanks rolled back in.

    Secondly, it took a little while for Qadaffi to gather his forces. Libya has no military. Well, it does, but in practice it does not. Qadaffi ruled Libya through the use of secret police. He had to gather a mercenary force from Africa to mount a counter attack.

    This has the unfortunate side affect of creating pogroms in Free Libya where Libyans are attacking and forcing non Libyan Africans to leave the country out of fear that they may be subversive elements.

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    JepheryJephery Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SammyF wrote: »
    Barcardi wrote: »
    From what I have heard the un vote might go through because Russia and china,etc might be convinced to abstain. It seems like the just option but damn if we need another war.

    Well, in this case it would be unlikely that occupation would be needed. Just destroying Gaddafi's military capabilities. Gulf War 1, not 2. Honestly, U.S. would roll all over Gaddafi in less then a week through pure air power alone. It would be no contest. I don't see the likely hood of any casualties.

    What you're discussing are tactics. What you're missing is a strategy. In a country that's been ruled by an autocratic dictator for 40 years which has no opposition leaders or political parties, how do you determine who is responsible for keeping the lights on once the existing power is deposed? How is order maintained until that determination is made?

    The rebels have a government in place actually. Its currently running the eastern part of the country, made up of former Libyan government officials who defected.

    If we blow up Gaddafi they could take over the country as a transitional government.

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    SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Yeah...and, they've demonstrated that they can organize their way out of paper bag by...?

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SammyF wrote: »
    Yeah...and, they've demonstrated that they can organize their way out of paper bag by...?

    They may suck at military stuff, but they got the civil stuff taken pretty well care of in Bengazi (sp).

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    SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Here's the question I'm eventually going to get at: how long did it take the Iraqi and Afghani governments which also sucked at the military stuff to establish a security force that was capable of maintaining internal domestic order? Why do we believe Libya can do that faster -- and without any outside military presence on the ground as was suggested on the previous page?

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    DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SammyF wrote: »
    Here's the question I'm eventually going to get at: how long did it take the Iraqi and Afghani governments which also sucked at the military stuff to establish a security force that was capable of maintaining internal domestic order? Why do we believe Libya can do that faster -- and without any outside military presence on the ground as was suggested on the previous page?

    Well, this isn't an invasion where every existing institution of the previous order is demolished. With the defectors against Gaddafi including politicians and military officers I'm sure something can be established - especially when Libya is smaller in both size and population then the two aforementioned examples, and also without the widespread and ingrained ethnic and religious divides. An pro-Gaddafi insurgency should his forces be defeated is also very - very - unlikely since his forces consist of mercenaries and last remaining loyalists without much motivation to stay in the game.

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    Beren39Beren39 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE72G2HK20110317?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

    China and Russia abstained, the vote went through.
    The U.N. Security Council voted on Thursday to authorise a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" -- code for military action -- to protect civilians against leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

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    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    We have a Middle East thread guys.

    Gadaffi sure hasn't won yet.

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    Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SammyF wrote: »
    Here's the question I'm eventually going to get at: how long did it take the Iraqi and Afghani governments which also sucked at the military stuff to establish a security force that was capable of maintaining internal domestic order? Why do we believe Libya can do that faster -- and without any outside military presence on the ground as was suggested on the previous page?
    I'm not aware of any serious internal faultlines in Libya. We're not talking about a Sunni/Shiite/Kurd split where each faction is pulling in different directions. If you take out Kaddafi and his coterie, I doubt you'd be looking at some long-term insurgency. More likely, an interim government would step in made up of the leaders of the rebels, and the country would start a transition process to some form of democracy.

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