**Posted by Phineas
Yes, you read that right. While the United States and Great Britain are in a global war against the jihad terror group, while we are in active combat against them in Afghanistan, and while al Qaeda is still plotting massacre in Britain, Great Britain has decided to send advisers to Libya to assist the rebels — who include al Qaeda:
British military officers will be sent to Libya to advise rebels fighting Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, the UK government has said.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said the group would be deployed to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi.
The BBC understands 10 officers will provide logistics and intelligence training in a UK and French operation.
Mr Hague said it was compatible with the UN resolution on Libya, which ruled out foreign military ground action.
He stressed that the officers would not be involved in any fighting and the move was needed to help protect civilians.
The UN Security Council resolution, passed in March, authorised a no-fly zone over Libya.
Her Majesty’s Government claims they’re sending advisers to Benghazi only to advise the rebel leadership on organization, logistics, and how best to help the civilians under their control(1), but… Come on, don’t play us for dumb, okay?
Britain and her allies (including us) have invested tons of their prestige in this effort to oust Qaddafi(2) and they can ill-afford to let the rebels lose. Air power alone isn’t sufficient, as the fighting at Misrata shows, and especially after the US picked up its combat planes and went home and NATO started running low on ammunition. The rebels are few in number and don’t seem able to hold any gains made against Qaddafi without NATO’s help. The whole public purpose of this mission was to protect civilians from Qaddafi, so how do you do that when your “allies” on the ground are incompetent?
The logic is inexorable: if the goal is to protect civilians and if it can’t be done from the air alone, then these “logistical advisers” are eventually going to find themselves “at the front” advising in combat. And when that doesn’t turn out to be sufficient, the pressure will grow for the introduction of Western ground forces. And when simply cordoning eastern Libya off isn’t enough because Daffy Qaddafi wants revenge, the need to “protect civilians” will reach the point that anyone who thought about this for more than a few seconds saw long ago: the West has to take out Qaddafi himself.
“When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”
Instead of admitting this truth now and getting it over with(3), Britain (and NATO) is stumbling deeper into this war with no clear plan, no forethought, and no strategic goal in mind. And unless Obama is willing to throw them under the bus (which wouldn’t surprise me), there will be heavy pressure for us to re-enter combat.
For all the Democrats and Euros lambasted Bush and Blair for rushing and stumbling to war in Iraq, I seriously doubt those two would have “done Libya” in such an offhand, amateurish, and strategically dunderheaded fashion.
They especially wouldn’t be aiding al Qaeda(4).
UPDATE: I’m not the only one decidedly unimpressed with the US-NATO handling of Libya. From today’s Los Angeles Times:
“We rushed into this without a plan,” said David Barno, a retired Army general who once commanded U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “Now we’re out in the middle, going in circles.”
The failure of the international air campaign to force Kadafi’s ouster, or even to stop his military from shelling civilians and recapturing rebel-held towns, poses a growing quandary for President Obama and other NATO leaders: What now?
That’s a darned good question.
UPDATE II: And right on cue, the rebels are now calling for foreign ground troops.
(1)Which is accomplished precisely how, as long as Qaddafi remains in power?
(2)Which is just what this is. Be honest.
(3)Really. Does anyone seriously think Colonel Quackers would last a day against 1,000 French Foreign Legionnaires backed by US airpower?
LINKS: More at Pirate’s Cove.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)