Tuesday, April 12, 2011


As reported here previously NATO with out U.S. involvement cannot decisively deal with Gadhafi's troops. This is evidenced by today's statement from Paris which lamented the limited U.S. military role in Libya and chided Germany for its lack of involvement. In a dire analysis, France's defense minister acknowledged that without full American participation in the combat operation, the West probably can't stop Gadhafi's attacks on besieged rebel cities. (Where are is NATO's further involvement in Afghanistan when we asked for it?) Britain and France do not have the air power to drop the tonnage of bombs needed to stop and degrade Libya's military to the point that the very poorly armed rebels can an effective attack against Tripoli. Britain only has a total of 136 GR4 Tornado not all of which are being used for this operation. In addition the Royal Navy operations around 110 GR9 Harriers in the ground attack and anti-air role. While the Typhoon can perform the air to ground function there is no indication they are being used. France operates a combined 306 Mirage 2000, Mirage F1, and Rafale multi-role aircraft. This is fewer than the aircraft in the U.S. Air National Guard and Reserve. The U.S. if it wanted to could put 100+ heavy bombers in the air all delivering precision guided munitions. Add F15, F16, F18, Harriers, AC-130 gunship, and A10s. If the U.S. decided to use its un-deployed aircraft in an air offensive it could dwarf the aircraft being currently used again Libya. What the politicians and rebels do not understand is that to wage an air campaign that would cripple Gadhafi Libya's infrastructure would have to be destroyed as well as it manufacturing base. This will leave little for the rebels to take over. Those that think destroying equipment works got the wrong impression from Kosovo during that air campaign Serbia's infrastructure was also hit causing civilian casualties and lots of hard feelings among the civilian population.

Reviewing Drone Strikes in Pakistan

Pakistan is now wanting the US to stop drone strikes into the tribal areas. I think the reason for this not the high civilian casualties as even the Pakistanis have been reporting very few civilian casualties from these strikes. The Pakistanis know the US is going to start pulling out of Afghanistan next year and are again trying to position themselves as the protectors of the Taliban movement. To stay in power the Pakistanis will try co-opt the various jihadi groups and turn their attention to India. The best way to do this is to continue to fund them and then be able to show them they protected them from the drone strikes which has taken a toll on mid and senior level commanders. Also the US has focused heavily on the Haqqani network in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan and in Afghanistan. The drone strikes have almost killed the senior members of the Haqqani group on several occasions. The Haqqanis are loyal to the Pakistani government and the Pakistanis need them for influence in Afghanistan so the Pakistanis want them as strong as possible. To do this the Haqqanis need a relatively safe sanctuary which the drones do not give them. A strong Haqqani presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan gives the Pakistan military a strong influence on both sides of the border. A unstable Afghanistan actually gives Pakistan strategic depth against India which the Pakistani still view as their main enemy not the jihad movements in their own borders. Sadly the only way to keep Southwest Asia stable is for US forces in some form or another to be in Afghanistan for a very long time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

There is a new power in the Universe

It seems that our current administration has surrendered the US place as a leader in the world. A world power for centuries and since World War II sitting on the sidelines and complaining about US hegemony, France is again flexing its muscles as a world power. With its push to establish the no-fly zone over Libya, direct military intervention in the Ivory Coast, and now banning of face coverings for people in public (directed at the Islamic subjugation of women). I have said some nasty things about the French in recent years and yes meant all of them but as of right now good on them. I wish our current leadership would take some lessons.