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Libya: Largest Military Undertaking since the Invasion of Iraq. Towards a Protracted Military Operation

 by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, March 20, 2011

Outright lies by the international media: Bombs and missiles are presented as an instrument  of peace and democratization…
This is not a humanitarian operation. The war on Libya opens up a new regional war theater.
There are three distinct war theaters in the Middle East Central Asian region. Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.
What is unfolding is a fourth US-NATO War Theater in North Africa, with the risk of escalation.
These four war theaters are functionally related, they are part of an integrated US-NATO military agenda.

The bombing of Libya has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for several years as confirmed by former NATO commander General Wesley Clark.
Operation Odyssey Dawn is acknowledged as the “biggest Western military intervention in the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq began exactly eight years ago.” (Russia: Stop ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of Libya – Taiwan News Online, March 19, 2011).
This war is part of the battle for oil. Libya is among the World’s largest oil economies with approximately 3.5% of global oil reserves, more than twice those of the US.
The underlying objective is to gain control over Libya’s oil and gas reserves under the disguise of a humanitarian intervention.
The geopolitical and economic implications of a US-NATO led military intervention directed against Libya are far-reaching.
“Operation Odyssey Dawn ” is part of  a broader military agenda in the Middle East and Central Asia which consists in gaining control and corporate ownership over more than sixty percent of the world’s reserves of oil and natural gas, including oil and gas pipeline routes.
With 46.5 billion barrels of proven reserves, (10 times those of Egypt), Libya is the largest oil economy in the African continent followed by Nigeria and Algeria (Oil and Gas Journal). In contrast, US proven oil reserves are of the order of 20.6 billion barrels (December 2008) according to the Energy Information Administration.  U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves).
Largest Military Undertaking since the Invasion of Iraq
A military operation of this size and magnitude, involving the active participation of several NATO member and partner countries is never improvised. Operation Odyssey Dawn was in the advanced stages of military planning prior to the protest movement in Egypt and Tunisia. 
Public opinion was led to believe that the protest movement had spread spontaneously from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya.   
The armed insurgency in Eastern Libya is directly supported by foreign powers. Rebel forces in Benghazi immediately hoisted the red, black and green banner with the crescent and star: the flag of the monarchy of King Idris, which symbolized the rule of the former colonial powers. (See  Manlio Dinucci, Libya-When historical memory is erased, Global Research, February 28, 2011)
The insurrection was also planned and coordinated with the timing of the military operation. It had been carefully planned months ahead of the protest movement, as part of a covert operation.
US, British special forces were reported to be on the ground “helping the opposition” right from the outset.
What we are dealing with is a military roadmap, a timeline of carefully planned military and intelligence events.

Read more @ GlobalResearch.ca

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Turkish TV: NATO To Assume Command Libya Operation

HuffPost

Posted: 03/24/11 04:03 PM

ANKARA, Turkey — NATO appeared on Thursday to move closer to assuming command of the military operation in Libya when Turkey’s foreign minister was quoted as saying an agreement has been reached.

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The alliance needs the approval of all 28 of its members in order to coordinate the operation, and Turkey had set conditions on that role for NATO.

“The coalition that was formed following the Paris meeting will abandon the mission and hand it over entirely to a single command system under NATO,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying by Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency.

“All of Turkey’s concerns, demands on the issue have been met,” he said, and NATO has promised to complete the work needed to take over the Libya mission “within one or two days.”

Earlier in the day, Turkey’s parliament authorized the government to participate in military operations in Libya, including the no-fly zone. Turkey is NATO’s only Muslim member.

Turkey’s government had insisted that any NATO mission, including the no-fly zone, must be restricted to protecting civilians, enforcing the arms embargo and providing humanitarian aid.

Davutoglu had said Wednesday that his country would not agree to a “framework that goes beyond this.” But Turkey also said it would contribute four frigates and one submarine to the NATO naval force that patrolling off Libya’s coast to enforce a U.N. arms embargo. Two frigates had reached the Libyan coast while two others were on their way.

In Brussels, NATO officials said the Military Committee – the alliance’s highest military body – met Thursday morning in Brussels to review plans to enforce the no-fly zone in Libya. The decision-making North Atlantic Council, consisting of envoys from all 28 member nations, was meeting later Thursday to review them.

It has been meeting for six straight days, but a series of disagreements, including whether NATO should have overall political control over the operation and how aggressive rules of engagement should be, have so far blocked an agreement.

MORE HERE

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How the U.S. rapidly froze Libyan assets

Washington Post

By Robert O’Harrow Jr., James V. Grimaldi and Brady Dennis
Thursday, Mar 24, 2011
The Treasury Department team had been working nonstop on a plan to freeze Libyan assets in U.S. banks, hoping they might snare $100 million or more and prevent Moammar Gaddafi from tapping it as he unleashed deadly attacks against protesters who wanted him gone.

Now, at 2:22 Friday afternoon, Feb. 25, an e-mail arrived from a Treasury official with startling news. Their $100 million estimate was off — orders of magnitude off.

The e-mail said there was in “excess of $29.7 Billion — yes, that’s a B.”

And most of the money was at one bank.

It was a piece of extraordinary good fortune for the Obama administration at a crucial moment in the efforts to address the bizarre and deadly events unfolding in Libya.

Never before had U.S. officials so quickly launched economic sanctions affecting so many assets of a targeted country.

The frenetic 72 hours leading up to the Executive Order 13566 illustrate how a process of identifying and freezing assets — something that customarily has taken weeks or months — has become one of the first tactical tools to employ in the midst of fast-breaking crises.

It also shows that government officials have learned from other recent economic sanction efforts, including against Iran and North Korea. Instead of being a secondary measure, as in the past, economic sanctions have become a centerpiece of national security policy.

MORE HERE- 9 pages in this story

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Details Of Pilot Rescue In F-15 Crash In Libya Released

USNavySeals.com

Posted March 23rd, 2011 by USNavySeals

In a previous post, we shared that an Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle fighter jet went down over Libya late Monday. The good news, however, is that the crew of the jet were able to eject before the crash. A feature on the Navy Times shared details the operation to recover the crew of the downed jet.

The Times reported that the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), based out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, was called to perform a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft Personnel (TRAP) mission about 12:55 a.m. local time. The call came out a little more than an hour after the crew of the F-15 – the pilot and a backseat weapons officer – ejected from the aircraft, at around 11:30 p.m.

The operation involved dozens of Marines, seven Marine aircraft, and two dropped bombs, according to information shared by a senior Marine officer. The Times shared further that it was the first high-profile TRAP mission for the U.S. military since the rescue of Air Force Capt. Scott O’Grady in Bosnia in 1995, by the 24th MEU.

MORE HERE

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Obama’s Libya Policy Makes Strange Bedfellows Of Congressional Critics

Huff Post- Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel

First Posted: 03/21/11 03:48 AM Updated: 03/21/11 08:43 AM

WASHINGTON — As the United States expands its military imprint on the international intervention into Libyan airspace, members of Congress have begun sounding the alarm over the lack of regard being paid by the president to the legal and advisory roles of the legislative branch.

On Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) offered his endorsement for a no fly zone over Libya. Conspicuous in his statement, however, was the threat to disrupt future operations should the president not consult Congress first.

“Before any further military commitments are made,” Boehner said, “the Administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission.”

A top GOP leadership aide clarified that Boehner wasn’t insisting that Obama needed congressional authorization for the use of military force in Libya. “The focus,” said the aide, “is on Congressional consultation.” At an off-camera briefing hours later, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon called such a request “fair” while arguing that it had been met by the president.

But Boehner’s remarks still underscore the domestic political limits Obama faces as he executes, what aides insist will be, a limited, internationally-led military intervention in Libya; which, this weekend, included cruise missile attacks and air strikes. While the majority of lawmakers who have spoken publicly say they support America’s involvement in the U.N.-backed mission (some Republicans wishing it had come sooner), several influential voices have argued — as Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Chair of the House Armed Services Committee did — that the President “has an obligation to explain” operational objectives to Congress.

Lower on the leadership ranks, a strange-bedfellows coalition of progressive-minded pols and Tea Party members has emerged, not only raising doubts about the underlying strategy but the legality of it as well.

“I think [the president] has a duty and an obligation to come to Congress,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah.) told The Huffington Post. “I see no clear and present danger to the United States of America. I just don’t. We’re in a bit of the fog at the moment as to what the president is trying to ultimately do.”

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Libya Military Intervention Could Last ‘Awhile,’ Top French Official Says

AP/The Huffington Post By RYAN LUCAS and HADEEL AL-SHALCHI  Posted: 03/21/11 08:46 AM

ZEITOUNIYA, Libya — The international military intervention in Libya is likely to last “awhile,” a top French official said Monday, echoing Moammar Gadhafi’s warning of a long war ahead as rebels said they were fighting to reclaim a city under the Libyan leader’s control.

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Burned-out tanks and personnel carriers littered one of the main desert roads leading from the Libyan capital. A power station hit by a shell on Thursday was still burning, its blackened fuel tank crumpled, with flames and black smoke pouring out.

Oil prices held above $102 a barrel after the second night of allied strikes in the OPEC nation raised fears of prolonged fighting that has already slowed Libyan oil production to a trickle.

Henri Guaino, a top adviser to the French president, said two nights of bombing runs and missile attacks had hobbled Libya’s air defenses, stalled Gadhafi’s troops and all but ended attacks on civilians. A cruise missile late Sunday blasted Gadhafi’s residential compound near his iconic tent, and fighter jets destroyed a line of tanks moving on the rebel capital.

It was not known where Gadhafi was when the missile hit Sunday, but it seemed to show that he is not safe.

Guaino, asked how long the allied efforts would continue, replied simply: “Awhile yet.”

MORE HERE

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Obama To Speak On Libya Friday

HuffPost
First Posted: 03/18/11 01:57 PM Updated: 03/18/11 02:11 PM

Obama is speaking on Friday about the ongoing crisis in Libya and the decision by the U.N. to implement a no-fly zone over the country.

Watch live here

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