It occurs to me there would have been other ways to aid the rebels in Libya but that those ways would have left control in their hands, by the current military action the rebels will know a settlement with the coalition forces will be part and parcel of any resolution. Thus our forces act as saviour while ensuring they are at the dealmaking table and any revolution does not get any ideas above its station. But given no other options were made available and the rebels where facing serious attacks I can understand their acceptance of coalition action. If I was surrounded and facing being overrun I wouldn’t be too picky if someone came along and bombed those forces and the pounds of flesh you know will be taken afterwards, well… cross that bridge when you come to it (maybe JSF says it more elegantly). Which seems to me the place we are looking at now, you can’t unshit the bed. So how do we stop this being the means to manage the movements towards freedom in the region which surely is one of the intentions of the war (neatly delineated by Zero Anthropology The Libyan Revolution is Dead: Notes for an Autopsy) and to stop our rapacious governments from taking those pounds of flesh. And for this not to succeed as a deal to allow all the other tyrants to suppress their internal uprisings as has been reported-
A senior diplomat in a western mission to the UN in New York, who I have known over ten years and trust, has told me for sure that Hillary Clinton agreed to the cross-border use of troops to crush democracy in the Gulf, as a quid pro quo for the Arab League calling for Western intervention in Libya.
Having blood stained chumps like Hopi Sen celebrate while anti-imperialists gnash their teeth is exactly what the NATO coalition would like, internecine political scraps will derail opposition to the onerous conditions of what settlement they must be planning to impose. Can interventionists allow into their mind that maybe Iraq was not all hearts and flowers and maybe you have to keep an eye on the parasites who flood a war zone after glory and a quick buck.
Meanwhile just some tidbits to remind people that unicorns and pixies are as real as NATO and their political leaders’ morals, incentives for war remain stronger than incentives for peace, until that changes-
A. Take you conscience out back, shoot it in the head and get shares in arms corporations.
B. Build the incentives for peace, social and economic justice.
French defense cuts announced October 01, 2010: As part of its first concrete action, the government announced Sept. 29 it plans to curtail defense outlays by €1.3 billion (U.S. $1.77 billion) over three years. The move, expected for months, is nonetheless significant because it reverses several years of increasing defense spending, even if only modestly at times. But military officials worry the cutback is merely a first step. For instance, the French air force was hoping to start fielding a midlife update for the Mirage 2000D soon. That program has now been delayed and is not planned to emerge until 2017-18. One senior military official is concerned the program may never emerge.
Defence review: Cameron unveils armed forces cuts 19 October 2010 :Unveiling the strategic defence review, PM David Cameron said defence spending would fall by 8% over four years. The RAF and navy will lose 5,000 jobs each, the Army 7,000 and the Ministry of Defence 25,000 civilian staff.
Italian Military Hit by 10% Budget Cut 7 May 2010: The 10 percent cut comes on top of defense budget reductions executed in 2009 and 2010 and ones planned for 2011. Maintenance-and-operations spending was already poised to decline by 20 percent in 2011, the senior defense official said.
US Army to cut 7,000-plus jobs in 2012 Mar 5 2011: The Army plans to begin drawing down next year by taking a one-third slice out of the temporary 22,000-soldier increase that supported the Afghanistan troop surge of 2010.
10 August 2010: US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has recommended axeing one of the ten major US military commands in a major reallocation of defence spending. Mr Gates said the Joint Forces Command would close, the use of outside contractors would be cut and the number of generals and admirals reduced. He has said that he wants to find savings of about $100bn (£63bn) in the military budget in the next five years.
NATO summit in Lisbon Novenmber 18, 2010: With regards to resources, NATO wants to be taken seriously in the world, but it needs to do something about its capabilities. On the one hand, the alliance needs to make sure that the economic slowdown does not cause defense budgets to be cut to the extent that it’s basically impossible to pursue operations like the one in Afghanistan. On the other hand, it would be naive to think that the economic crisis would have no bearing on military expenditures.
14 October 2010: Hillary Clinton has admitted Washington is “worried” over the scale of the UK coalition government’s planned spending cuts on defence. The US secretary of state told the BBC that Nato must be “maintained”, as it was the “most successful” defensive alliance “in the history of the world”.
13 January 2011: UK commanders were keen to redeploy Army troops leaving Iraq to Afghanistan because of fears they would be cut if they were not used, it is claimed.
17 March 2011: Defence cuts have left the UK “unable to act” swiftly in Libya and should be revisited, says a senior Tory MP.
Political Uses of War
Ipsos Mori: It is true that four months before the invasion of the Falklands, Mrs. Thatcher was the least popular prime minister in polling history and that after the invasion her approval ratings rose form 41% in April and to 56% in May. In June after British troops had taken back the islands Mrs. Thatcher reached a healthy 59% and while her ratings did slip back a little after then, the Conservatives still won a landslide victory in 1983.
9 Feb 2011: David Cameron’s honeymoon period with the voters is over as new figures reveal that his support is on the wane. A “poll of polls” for January shows more people are now unhappy than happy with the Prime Minister’s performance. One survey even shows him as unpopular as Margaret Thatcher was in January 1980, at the equivalent stage of her first term.
Update: I should note this is not an official NATO gig, it just has a lot of the same nations clubbing together.
Update ll: But it probably will be now, albeit with a US commander and some negotiations with the less keen.