Recent days have seen Moammar Qadhafi’s forces advancing steadily against Libya’s rebels and gathering for a final assault on their stronghold in Benghazi. The United Nations Security Council just voted in favor of strong action:
“The United Nations Security Council approved a measure on Thursday authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians from harm at the hands of forces loyal to Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi.
“The measure allows not only a no-fly zone but effectively any measures short of a ground invasion to halt attacks that might result in civilian fatalities. It comes as Colonel Qaddafi warned residents of Benghazi, Libya, the rebel capital, that an attack was imminent and promised lenient treatment for those who offered no resistance.
“‘We are coming tonight,’ Colonel Qaddafi said. ‘You will come out from inside. Prepare yourselves from tonight. We will find you in your closets.’
“With the recent advances made by pro-Qaddafi forces in the east, there was a growing consensus in the Obama administration that imposing a no-fly zone by itself would no longer make much of a difference and that there was a need for more aggressive airstrikes that would make targets of Colonel Qaddafi’s tanks and heavy artillery — an option sometimes referred to as a no-drive zone. The United States or its allies might also send military personnel to advise and train the rebels, an official said.”
When Libya’s uprising first started, I posted in support of a no-fly zone. Subsequent discussion made me realize that would not work under Libyan conditions the same way it did those in late Ba’athist Iraq. What we have now is what we could even have gotten then, a full assault on air and ground forces in conjunction with Libyan rebels. In other words, the United States and its allies are about to become a full part of this war.
(Crossposted to my blog)