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Thread: No Fly Zone for Libya?

  1. #1
    Administrator Tarek Morgen's Avatar
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    No Fly Zone for Libya?

    There is a lot of talk in the media about establishing a No-Fly Zone for Libya after reports of the use of warplanes against civilians. This raises a few questions

    Do we (the west) have the military means to quickly enforce such a No-Fly Zone? From where would it be operated? Italy & the Mediterranean? How hard & dangerous would it be?

    What legal requirements would be needed? Is there an alternative to an UN-resolution?

    Is there even the political will to do anything above sanctions? (which I personally doubt)

  2. #2
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    I don't know about the political ramifications, but I'm pretty sure we could enforce it with a couple of Nimitz-class carriers in the Med, one off the coast of Benghazi, and another off the coast of Tripoli. I'm sure the Air Force would want to be involved, but I think the nearest USAF base is in Italy (Aviano), and that's about 1200 miles from the Libyan coastline; they'd probably have to use a lot of tanker support over the Med to be effective in Libya.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  3. #3
    Regular Persey's Avatar
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    The UN has taken this action. No decision on implementing a UN imposed No-Fly Zone yet, although they are discussing it.

    UN - Suspend Libya's Rights Council Role - 63 Organizations Around the World Sign Petition to General Assembly
    25 February 2011

    New York — The United Nations General Assembly should immediately suspend Libya's membership rights in the UN Human Rights Council, 63 nongovernmental organizations from around the world said today.

    Acting in the face of mounting evidence of large-scale government attacks against protesters, the groups submitted a petition calling on the General Assembly to pass a resolution immediately suspending Libya's membership rights in the council. The Human Rights Council's founding document authorizes a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly to suspend the membership rights of any Council member engaged in "gross and systematic violations of human rights."

    "Libya lost any claim to sit at the Human Rights Council once it became clear that Muammar Gaddafi's vow to 'cleanse Libya house by house' was no mere threat," said Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. "Suspending Libya is critical for the General Assembly's credibility as well as that of the Human Rights Council."

    The petition calls for the General Assembly to follow without delay the lead set by several UN institutions and officials, as well as regional institutions including the League of Arab States and the African Union. On February 22, the UN Security Council "deplored the repression against peaceful demonstrators and expressed deep regret at the deaths of hundreds of civilians."

    The League of Arab States on February 22 banned Libyan delegations from participating in all bodies affiliated with the Arab League. The Peace and Security Council of the African Union on February 23 strongly condemned "the indiscriminate and excessive use of force and lethal weapons against peaceful protestors."

    While Libyan authorities have prevented human rights organizations and journalists from verifying on the ground the claims of large-scale atrocities, numerous witnesses have reported that hundreds of civilians had been killed by Libyan forces firing "randomly" at protesters.

    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has denounced "the callousness with which Libyan authorities and their hired guns are reportedly shooting live rounds of ammunition at peaceful protestors" and warned the government that "widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity."

    "The General Assembly's ability to suspend Human Rights Council membership rights was tailor-made for a situation like the human rights crisis now under way in Libya," said Jose Luis Diaz, the head of office and representative at the UN for Amnesty International. "Allowing Libya to continue to serve on the Human Rights Council today would be an affront to those suffering in Libya and to human rights defenders across the globe who are demanding Libya's suspension."

    allAfrica.com: Libya: UN - Suspend Libya's Rights Council Role - 63 Organizations Around the World Sign Petition to General Assembly

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    Colonist Senior Contributor
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    Where's your Aircraft Carrier w/ Sea Harriers now Royal Navy?...
    Ego Numquam

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    Military Professional T_igger_cs_30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunder View Post
    Where's your Aircraft Carrier w/ Sea Harriers now Royal Navy?...
    <img src=http://C:\Documents and Settings\Wayne Smith\My Documents\002...My Pictures border=0 alt= />FEAR NAUGHT

    Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunder View Post
    Where's your Aircraft Carrier w/ Sea Harriers now Royal Navy?...
    Guess they'll have to miss THIS party . . . . .
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    Oh great, the UN is on the job. We can all breathe easy. Im sure they will reach a decision after its all over.

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    How effective would a no fly zone be ?

    We might be past the point where the declaration of a no-fly zone would make a major difference -- the Libyan air force (that part which has not defected) does not appear to be terribly effective and airlifted mercenary forces in the east seem to be contained. The city of Tripoli and several other towns on the west coast do appear to be at the mercy of loyalist mercenaries and militias, and are suffering terribly, but there is probably little that could be done militarily, short of a massive and prohibitively problematic amphibious invasion, to rescue them. Rebels in Benghazi are reportedly beginning to mobilize to move west, so it's quite likely that Libyans will be able to complete the overthrow of Qaddafi without outside help.
    The Arabist : If the tide turns: some pros and cons of military intervention in Libya.

  9. #9
    Regular Persey's Avatar
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    A UN imposed No-Fly Zone would not be as effective as a US & NATO imposed No-Fly Zone.

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    How about a UN imposed, US-NATO enforced no fly zone?

    Though I doubt it will have the impact compared to like say, five days ago.

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    Ahhh..has anybody looked and seen where our carriers are? Some are in homeport under long time maintenance and some are a little busy in the Indian Ocean. We just don't have the carriers to meet this mission without coming off of others. And where do you get the tankers from? And land based? Too far.

    Now, if the the French have the Charles de Gaulle just sitting around, fine.

    The USN is plain out of flight decks for this wishful thinking.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
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  12. #12
    Administrator Tarek Morgen's Avatar
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    I am not certain, but the last thing I heard about the Charles de Gaulle was that she is in the Arabian Sea for some naval exercise.

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Ahhh..has anybody looked and seen where our carriers are? Some are in homeport under long time maintenance and some are a little busy in the Indian Ocean. We just don't have the carriers to meet this mission without coming off of others. And where do you get the tankers from? And land based? Too far.

    The USN is plain out of flight decks for this wishful thinking.
    Okay, so our little adventure in A-stan has finally bitten us in the a$$?
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    timesofmalta.com - Libya no-fly zone would require bombing raids: US
    As quoted from the above article: "An American aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise -- which has fighter jets that could enforce a possible no-fly zone -- could also be called upon for the Libya crisis. The carrier is currently in the north of the Red Sea near the mouth of Suez Canal, according to the US Navy's website." It seems that the enterprise could be brought over to enforce a no fly zone if needed.
    This caught my attention when reading the article, "The USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship accompanied by two other naval vessels, was expected to pass through the Suez Canal soon from the Red Sea, two defence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. The Kearsarge amphibious ready group, with about 800 marines, a fleet of helicopters and medical facilities, could support humanitarian efforts as well as military operations." the US might be posturing to increase pressure on Gaddafi but as the article points out, these are not empty threats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liberty View Post
    timesofmalta.com - Libya no-fly zone would require bombing raids: US
    As quoted from the above article: "An American aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise -- which has fighter jets that could enforce a possible no-fly zone -- could also be called upon for the Libya crisis. The carrier is currently in the north of the Red Sea near the mouth of Suez Canal, according to the US Navy's website." It seems that the enterprise could be brought over to enforce a no fly zone if needed.
    This caught my attention when reading the article, "The USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship accompanied by two other naval vessels, was expected to pass through the Suez Canal soon from the Red Sea, two defence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. The Kearsarge amphibious ready group, with about 800 marines, a fleet of helicopters and medical facilities, could support humanitarian efforts as well as military operations." the US might be posturing to increase pressure on Gaddafi but as the article points out, these are not empty threats.
    Of course the US/International Community has let the Mid East down before i.e. 1991 uprising in Iraq against Saddam.

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