Two US drones for Misratah vs Russian arms, Chinese intel for Qaddafi


Both of Libya’s fighting camps are taking delivery of a surging influx of weapons shipments and military personnel – each hoping to use the extra aid for breaking the military standoff in its own favor, debkafile’s military sources report. Thursday, April 21, President Barack Obama authorized a pair of armed Predator drones to help the rebels break breaking the siege of Misratah, while British, French and Italian military officers headed for rebel headquarters in Benghazi, part of a package of arms and military equipment from the US, Britain, France, Italy and Qatar.

On the other side of the Libyan divide, China, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Serbia are keeping the pro-Qaddafi camp’s arsenals stocked with new hardware along with combat personnel from Eastern Europe and the former Yugoslavia.

Building up in Libya is a confrontation that recalls the 1999 war in Yugoslavia (Serbia today) when NATO’s four-month Operation Noble Anvil hammered Yugoslav forces to force their retreat from Kosovo. The Serbs too were backed then by clandestine Chinese-Russian support in tactical advice, intelligence, fighting men and arms.
Just like 12 years ago, our military sources report that from mid-March, hundreds of “volunteers” – professional soldiers ranking from colonel down to corporal – have joined the army loyal to Qaddafi. Calling themselves “nationalists” operating in paramilitary organizations without the knowledge of their governments, these foreigners claim they have come “to repulse the Western-Muslim onslaught on Qaddafi’s regime.”

Of course, they are handsomely paid from Muammar Qaddafi’s plentiful war chest. One group says it is in Libya for unfinished business with the West, especially the United States, for their role in the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts.

China is helping the Libyan ruler with arms, mostly through African neighbors, and intelligence on NATO strikes in order to limit the damage they inflict (a service like that performed for Serbia in the 1990s). Beijing has a stake in helping the Libyan ruler after being informed that the Obama administration seeks to sever Chinese-Libyan oil ties before Beijing sinks tens of billions of dollars in Libya’s transformation into its primary oil and gas supplier on the African continent.

Hence the pair of armed drones which the US president decided Thursday to contribute to rebel strength in Misratah, the only town the rebels are clinging to in western Libya. The Predators are intended doubly to break Qaddafi’s siege of the town and destroy the Chinese electronic intelligence and weapons systems deployed around it. The NATO bombardment of a large ammunition dump near Tripoli on April 14 aimed at destroying the latest Chinese arms arrivals.

Echoes of the Balkan Wars were also resurrected by the rebels’ determination to hang on in Misratah and replicate the long Sarajevo siege which eventually drew the United States into the conflict.

debkafile’s military sources point to four major difficulties still confronting the next, intensified, round of Western coalition operations in Libya:

1. Pushing Qaddafi too hard could split NATO between is West and East European members;
2. The alliance is short of fighter-bombers for blasting the arms convoys destined for government forces in western Libya and lacks the precision bombs and missiles for these attacks. These shortages have forced NATO to limit its air strikes for now. A larger number of US Predators than the two authorized might have altered the balance. However, these armed pilotless aerial vehicles are in short supply owing to their essential role in US operations in the Afghan, Yemeni and Somali war arenas.
3. It is not clear that the UN Security Council resolution mandate extends to this kind of attack. The Russians criticize the Western alliance almost daily for exceeding its mandate.
4. In view of this criticism, Washington, London, Paris and Rome are careful to label their war assistance to Libyan rebels as “non-lethal military aid” and the military personnel helping them as “military advisers” – raising memories of the euphemisms used in previous wars.
The trouble is that all the additional military assistance the West is laying on is barely enough, say debkafile’s military experts, to maintain the current stalemate against the Qaddafi regime’s boosted capabilities – certainly not sufficient to tip the scales of the war.
Qaddafi holds one major advantage: His army can absorb foreign assistance without delay and almost seamlessly, whereas Western aid drops into a pit of uncertainty with regard to the rebel groups and their chiefs. The military advisers arriving in Benghazi first need to guide the opposition’s steps in fighting Qaddafi’s forces, then form the rebels into military units and teach them how to use the weapons they are receiving.

It could take months for regular units to take shape under the direction of British, French and Italian military personnel who, too, are not necessarily working in harness.

April 23, 2011 | 4 Comments »

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  1. The Saudis have apparently made a deal with pakistan for a division or two to be stationed in Saudia Arabia to boost security against the US and England. The Paks will give the Saudis a nuke umbrella.

    The Saudis have cut production in order to destabilize America and the West, or at least send a message A- they will do anything to protect themselves even from America and B- Obama must stop Iran.

    Bandar is back after being under house arrest for over a year and besides Pakistan he is looking to align with the Russians and Chinese. They now fear America and have lost their trust since the CIA has been the trigger in either deposing or attempting the ouster of long time autocratic Arab Sunni rulers.

    Saudis overestimate their strength

    Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf emirates formally informed the UNSC that they are ready to take “whatever measures necessary” against Iran for interfering in their domestic affairs.

    Though Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE possess formidable arsenals—especially their airforces—their pilots are poorly trained, and fighting spirit is generally very low among rich Arabs and their Pakistani mercenaries. This stands in stark contrast to Iran, which has poor weapons, so-so training—and an excellent will to fight. The Arabs’ top-of-the-line US fighter jets are thus vulnerable to Iranian air defenses which, while mostly primitive, do include such advanced gear as TOR-1M and Chinese-made S-300. Without air dominance, the Arab countries are vulnerable to Iranian invasion and Shiite sabotage.

    The Saudis, however, are doing a great job of pushing the US into a corner: attack Iran or face major flare-ups throughout the Middle East, which would send oil prices soaring and hurt the American economy. It testifies to the depth of the Israeli government’s betrayal of its people that the Jews did not join the Saudis in this endeavor. And it is Israel’s government which is responsible for the current wave of riots sweeping through the region: riots which we could have nipped in the bud by staging the smallest attack on Egypt during the Tahrir Square protests to re-unify Egyptians behind Mubarak.

  2. AFP Was Right: U.S. Funding Arab Uprisings

    By Michael Collins Piper

    The New York Times and The Washington Post have finally admitted what AMERICAN FREE PRESS (AFP) asserted as far back as Feb. 14:
    There is much more to the so-called “grassroots” revolutions in the Mideast than meets the eye.

    While critics accused AFP of purveying “conspiracy theories,” the Times and the Post have now laid it on the line: American tax dollars have bankrolled a host of both private and quasi-public institutions that have been underwriting the revolutionary activity wreaking havoc throughout the Arab world.

    The first inkling came in a report buried inside the Post on March 10, under the headline “U.S. funds web firms that help Mideast dissidents skirt censors.” The report read in part:

    The Obama administration may not be lending arms to dissidents in the Middle East, but it is offering aid in another critical way: Helping them surf the web anonymously as they seek to overthrow their governments. Federal agencies—such as the State Department, the Defense Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors—have been funding a handful of technology firms that allow people to get online without being tracked or to visit news or social media sites that governments have blocked.Many of these little-known companies—such as the Tor Project or UltraReach— are unabashedly supportive of the activists in the Middle East. . . .

    Federal agencies have funded these companies through grants and contracts. By late spring, the State Department is expected to begin doling out even more money—about $30 million—to technology firms and human rights groups that help and train people to shatter [Internet security] and surf the web without being tracked.

    On April 15 The New York Times was even more direct when it reported flat-out the fact that the U.S. had been a key behind-the-scenes force in instigating the so-called “Arab spring.” Under the headline “U.S. groups helped nurture Arab uprisings,” the report reads in part:

    Even as the United States poured billions of dollars into foreign military programs and anti-terrorism campaigns, a small core of American government-financed organizations were promoting democracy in authoritarian Arab states. The money spent on these programs was minute compared with efforts led by the Pentagon.

    But as American officials and others look back at the uprisings of the Arab spring, they are seeing that the United States’ democracy-building campaigns played a bigger role in fomenting protests than was previously known, with key leaders of the movements having been trained by the Americans in campaigning, organizing through new media tools and monitoring elections.

    A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region . . . received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington. . . .

    The Republican and Democratic institutes are loosely affiliated with the Republican and Democratic Parties. They were created by Congress and are financed through the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up in 1983 to channel grants for promoting democracy in developing nations. The National Endowment receives about $100 million annually from Congress. Freedom House also gets the bulk of its money from the American government, mainly from the State Department.

    With the truth of U.S. involvement in the orchestrated revolutions now being steadily unveiled, on April 18 The Washington Post stated in the headline of a front page lead story that “U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition groups, cables released by WikiLeaks show.” The Post story elaborated:

    The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables. The London-based satellite channel, Barada TV, began broadcasting in April 2009 but has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria as part of a long-standing campaign to overthrow the country’s autocratic leader, Bashar al-Assad. . . . Barada TV is closely affiliated with the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based network of Syrian exiles.

    Classified U.S. diplomatic cables show that the State Department has funneled as much as $6 million to the group since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other activities inside Syria. . . . The U.S. money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005. The financial backing has continued under President Obama, even as his administration sought to rebuild relations with Assad.

    The U.S.-sponsored revolutions, in many respects, validate AFP’s notation on Feb. 14 that the World Zionist Organization’s Israeli-based magazine Kuvinim (as far back as 1982) had outlined a geopolitical strategy to disrupt and balkanize the Arab world, dividing the Arab states from within. That Israel’s oft-touted “closest ally”—the United States—has been found to now be implementing the agenda is to be expected.

    One particularly influential hard-line American supporter of Israel, former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), explained in a Feb. 24 commentary in The Washington Times that supporting what was described as “democratic turmoil” was worth the risk for the United States.

    After all, Coleman said, if “extremists” should happen to come to power in any of the nations where the U.S. had helped instigate revolutions, the United States must “prepare to confront their aggressive plans with stalwart resistance.”

    In case you didn’t figure that out, Coleman meant military intervention. That’s right. More war.