Saturday, April 9, 2011


StrategyPage on Libya:
Helping the rebels defeat Kaddafi forces, and capture Tripoli, is very difficult. Even by Arab standards, Libyans are terrible soldiers. Heavily armed Libyan troops were once defeated by Chadian tribesmen riding around in pickup trucks, using light weapons against Libyan armored vehicles. What was most humiliating about this was that the Chadians were not considered Arabs, but sub-Saharan Africans (who are considered even less effective soldiers than Arabs.) But in this case, the Chadians were better organized and better at what they were doing, and sent the surviving Libyan troops fleeing north.

The military ineptitude is a cultural thing. Arabs moving to the West, and joining the military there, perform as well as anyone. But back in the Old Country, putting together an effective fighting force . . . is very difficult. In Iraq and Afghanistan, it took years to find men who could handle the training and responsibilities. . . . But in Libya, the locals and foreigners would like a solution within months, or less.

. . . [T]he rebels are divided into many factions, and have only been united (most of the time) the past few months because the Kaddafi forces were close to killing all of them several times. But with NATO air power, and help organizing more effective military units, the immediate danger is gone. The factional differences will assert themselves. Many Libya experts believe that this is just the first stage of a multi-act civil war. Prospects for a quick and lasting peace are not good.