UPDATE: Libya Up-Date from London: Second Day of Action: Again the Question What Next?

It is mid-day Sunday in London and the British have said that the strikes overnight were “successful.”  The U.S. remains in command of the coalition operations but with an integrated staff with full UK and likely French integration and participation.  This leadership will be turned over to the Europeans shortly.

More attacks tonight are likely.

The French have announced that their aircraft carrier has left Toulon for waters near Libya.  This action was taken after the U.S. said that the “no-fly” zone had been established.  This means t hat the Libyan air force would not likely be able to undertake an effective attack. Continue reading

Under U.N. Authority the Powers Act in Libya: Report from Britain

Today, after the coalition meeting in Paris on Saturday, action was immediately taken to use force against the Gaddafi regime forces. Coalition leaders made clear they did not believe Gaddafi’s promise of a cease-fire and reports were clear that attacks continue against the rebel-held positions. The first acts were against tanks in Benghazi and Libyan regime anti-air and command facilities.  Coalition leaders have called this a “multi-phased” operation. Coalition forces include U.K., France, U.S., Italy, and Canada.

As this is written from London, French fighter jets are over Libya hitting Gaddafi’s tanks and military.  French and British recognizance flights are over Libyan areas. It was reported that 20 French Mirage warplanes were over Libya. Under operation “Odyssey Dawn” some 100-112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launch by the coalition (largely the U.S. and U.K.) at Libyan targets. However, Libya has several hundred SAM anti-aircraft missiles. Continue reading

Action At Last: What is at Stake in Libya?

Just as Western hesitancy, dithering, and some bad judgment appeared to have  destroyed what promised to be a historic alignment of the Arab Spring and of the Western democracies’ values and interests, the French and British resolution in the U.N. Security Council, with the support of America, has turned the crisis of despair into an opportunity of achievement. 

The Security Council resolution not only authorized a “no-fly” zone over Libya, but it also authorized the use of force to protect civilian populations.  The vote was 10 in favor and 5 abstentions, which included Germany, China, India, and Russia.  It was a major diplomatic success for France, Britain and America which supported the key addition of action to protect populations. However, the resolution banned the use of troops on the ground, and did not specify authority for “regime change” as an objective.  Secretary Hillary Clinton in Tunisia has been talking strong about Gaddafi going. What remains in question is if and how the combined forces of the Libyan rebels, Arab nations, and the Western nations participating will rid the world of Gaddafi and his regime from power. Continue reading