Much more than a no-fly zone

James P. writes:

Today I read numerous stories like this one, indicating that NATO aircraft have attacked pro-Gaddafi tanks. If this is true, it is much more than enforcing a no-fly zone, which I thought was the mandate for the operation. Yet I suppose such attacks could fall under the rubric of “all necessary measures to protect civilians”.

LA replies:

Didn’t the resolution authorize a no-drive zone against Khadafy’s forces as well as a no-fly zone?

James P. replies:

No. I think attacking tanks comes from paragraph 4:

4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council;

LA replies:

Ok, so the mandate is much broader than a no-fly zone or a no-drive zone. It’s a mandate to do whatever is necessary, short of land occupation, to protect the people that Qhadda’affi’s soldiers are attacking.

N. writes:

Attacking Libyan army vehicles (tanks, etc.) within Libya surely constitutes war, although as with the Serbian case in the 1990s there is no declaration. It also puts the active NATO forces into an open-ended commitment; if the anti-Gadafi forces cannot succeed in advancing towards Tripoli, while the NATO military aviation prevents the pro-Gadafi forces from advancing into Benghazi, then a stalemate ensues.

What then? What if the ground fighting between the two tribal groups grinds to a stalemate, a stalemate that only exists so long as NATO aircraft provide cover? I’m concerned that no one, not in France, not in Britain, not in the U.S., has thought this situation through at all.

Robert C. writes:

We should have left well enough alone. Obama is just a continuation of Bush. A corporatist war monger.

LA replies:

I don’t see what the label “corporatist” adds to our understanding of Obama and his policy.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 21, 2011 10:43 AM | Send

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