Interesting how the military action that (a) could not have gone ahead without the U.S. or (b) the U.S. studiously tried to avoid getting sucked (or suckered) into ... has been a “smashing success."
Thanks of course to the 16 fighter-bombers the British deployed to "lead" the troops (mainly Americans) into battle.
The next question is “What Next?"
As expected “air superiority” was achieved in five-minutes, the antique SAM infrastructure is history, and it was no surprise that destroying tanks sitting on their own in the middle of a desert was as easy as shooting ducks in a barrel.
Now two questions are being asked: First the issue re-emerges about whether it might not be a bad idea to let Gaddafi keep a percentage of the money he looted over the past 40 years and stashed abroad, and provide him a nice place to retire.
That is what the more coherent voices in the rebel infrastructure were saying weeks ago. My idea was Tuscany, given the many, shared interests between the soon-to-be ex-leader of Libya and the current leader of Italy.
Unfortunately the UN Security Council and dark words about putting him up on trial for crimes against humanity put a damper on that idea. Although I hear that Idi Amin’s old villa in Jeddah is still up for grabs, perhaps that could be Plan B?
The other question is who precisely the “rebels” are?
When Gaddafi said “they are Al Qaeda,” everyone laughed ... that was a joke right?
Well not if you believe the 2007 report prepared by Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman of the “Combating Terrorism Center Department of Social Sciences," U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.
According to that report, by far the largest contingent of foreign insurgents who fought in Iraq (outside of Saudis), were Libyan and ... wait-for-it ... most of them hailed from Benghazi and its hinterland.
A good summary is here.
So the “good news” is that Benghazi was “saved” ... err?
With that in the background, a problem of course might arise due to that pesky Law of Unintended Consequences, with a good chance that Libya will end up like Somalia in a multi-faceted civil war, complete with pirates, and certainly not pumping any oil.
Oil prices are currently 15% above the fundamental as measured using parasite economics. Expect more “up-side” until the identity of the new “regime” (or regimes) is clear.