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View Full Version : Who's in charge? Germans pull forces out of NATO as Libyan coalition falls apart



Odysseus
03-24-2011, 12:19 PM
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:32 AM on 23rd March 2011

Tensions with Britain as Gates rebukes UK government over suggestion Gaddafi could be assassinated
French propose a new political 'committee' to oversee operations

Germany pulls equipment out of NATO coalition over disagreement over campaign's direction

Italians accuse French of backing NATO in exchange for oil contracts

No-fly zone called into question after first wave of strikes 'neutralises' Libyan military machine
U.K. ministers say war could last '30 years'

Italy to 'take back control' of bases used by allies unless NATO leadership put in charge of the mission

Russians tell U.S. to stop bombing in order to protect civilians - calls bombing a 'crusade'

Deep divisions between allied forces currently bombing Libya worsened today as the German military announced it was pulling forces out of NATO over continued disagreement on who will lead the campaign.


A German military spokesman said it was recalling two frigates and AWACS surveillance plane crews from the Mediterranean, after fears they would be drawn into the conflict if NATO takes over control from the U.S.
The infighting comes as a heated meeting of NATO ambassadors yesterday failed to resolve whether the 28-nation alliance should run the operation to enforce a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone, diplomats said.
Yesterday a war of words erupted between the U.S. and Britain after the U.K. government claimed Muammar Gaddafi is a legitimate target for assassination.
U.K. government officials said killing the Libyan leader would be legal if it prevented civilian deaths as laid out in a U.N. resolution.

But U.S. defence secretary Robert Gates hit back at the suggestion, saying it would be 'unwise' to target the Libyan leader adding cryptically that the bombing campaign should stick to the 'U.N. mandate'.

Unsure: Libyan rebels retreat from the outskirts of the city of Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi. Nato members are also fighting over who will take command of allied forces

But Germany and European allies remain unwilling to have NATO take on a military operation that theoretically has nothing to do with the defence of Europe.

Today the German defence ministry announced Berlin had pulled out of any military operations in the Mediterranean.

A ministry spokesman said two frigates and two other ships with a crew of 550 would be reverted to German command.

Some 60 to 70 German troops participating in NATO-operated AWACS surveillance operations in the Mediterranean would also be withdrawn, according to the ministry.

Berlin isn't participating in the operation to impose a no-fly zone in Libya and abstained on the U.N. resolution authorising it.

France, which launched the initial air strikes on Libya on Saturday, has argued against giving the U.S.-led NATO political control over an operation in an Arab country, while Turkey has called for limits to any alliance involvement.

In a bid to halt the embarrassing bickering, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe today proposed a new war committee to oversee operations.

The new body, Mr Juppe said, would bring together foreign ministers of participating states - such as Britain, France and the U.S. - as well as the Arab League.

Meanwhile the head of the Italian Senate's defence affairs committee, Gianpiero Cantoni, said the original French anti-NATO stance was motivated by a desire to secure oil contracts with a future Libyan government.

Some allies are even questioning whether a no-fly zone is still necessary, given the damage already done by air strikes to Gaddafi's military capabilities.

Speaking about yesterday's hastily arranged meeting of NATO allies, one diplomat said: 'The meeting became a little bit emotional,' before adding that France had argued that the coalition led by Britain, the United States and France should retain political control of the mission, with NATO providing operational support, including command-and-control capabilities.

'Others are saying NATO should have command or no role at all and that it doesn't make sense for NATO to play a subsidiary role,' the diplomat added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested that air strikes launched after a meeting in Paris hosted by France on Saturday had gone beyond what had been sanctioned by a U.N. Security Council resolution.

'There are U.N. decisions and these decisions clearly have a defined framework. A NATO operation which goes outside this framework cannot be legitimised,' he told news channel CNN Turk.

Adding pressure to the already fractured alliance, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has also reiterated a warning that Italy would take back control of airbases it has authorised for use by allies for operations over Libya unless a NATO coordination structure was agreed.

In a shock admission, U.K. ministers have admitted the intervention in Libya could last for up to '30 years'.

Asked for an estimate, British Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey said: 'How long is a piece of string? We don't know how long this is going to go on.

'We don't know if this is going to result in a stalemate. We don't know if his capabilities are going to be degraded quickly. Ask me again in a week.'

In the U.S., Obama has made it clear he wants no part of any leadership role in Libya.

The President has already been criticised for continuing with a tour of Latin America as the military operation over Libya began. And yesterday he insisted again that while Gaddafi must go, the U.S. is not prepared to remove him by force, but merely to enforce the no-fly zone.

Even that hesitant stance, which has already earned him the title of the Great Vacillator, left him criticised for not seeking proper approval from Congress before sending the American military in.

And after reports emerged that Gaddafi's son had been killed in a kamikaze strike yesterday, fresh questions over what exactly the U.S. intends to achieve in Libya emerged.

With Turkey digging its heels in and the Arab League suspicious, it has been pointed out that Mr Obama has fewer coalition partners in Libya than George Bush did at the start of the Iraq war.

He was criticised by both Republicans and Democrats over his decision to commit the U.S. military before going to Congress.

Representatives Jerrold Nadler of New York, Barbara Lee of California, Michael Capuano of Massachusetts, Senators Richard Lugar of Indiana and Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Representative Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland all complained that Mr Obama had exceeded his constitutional authority by authorizing the attack without Congressional permission.

The President hit back in a two-page letter to Congress and again reiterated his claim that while Gaddafi must go, the U.S. was only in Libya to enforce the no-fly zone for the protection of civilians.

France has already taken a leading role in the conflict, with President Nicolas Sarkozy hosting a summit in Paris over the weekend and French bombers being the first to enforce the no-fly zone.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368693/Libya-war-Germans-pull-forces-NATO-Libyan-coalition-falls-apart.html#ixzz1HXLyqbcW


Who is providing what in the war effort

US: B-2 stealth bombers; EA-18G Growler and AV-8B Harrier aircraft; destroyers USS Barry and USS Stout firing Tomahawk cruise missiles; amphibious assault ship USS Kearsage; command and control vessel USS Mount Whitney; submarines
France: Rafale and Mirage aircraft; refuelling and surveillance aircraft; aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and escort ships
UK: Typhoon and Tornado aircraft; refuelling and surveillance aircraft; Trafalgar-class submarine firing Tomahawk cruise missiles; frigates HMS Westminster and HMS Cumberland
Italy: Tornado aircraft; providing military bases
Canada: F-18 aircraft; frigate HMCS Charlottetown
Spain: F-18 aircraft; refuelling and surveillance aircraft; frigate and submarine; military bases
Denmark: F-16 aircraft
Belgium: F-16 aircraft

____________________________________________

A few comments.

In a bid to halt the embarrassing bickering, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe today proposed a new war committee to oversee operations.
Because nothing says efficiency like a committee.


In the U.S., Obama has made it clear he wants no part of any leadership role in Libya.

Well, he is at least consistent. He wants no part of any leadership role in the US, either.


28-nation alliance
In the list of who's providing what, I counted eight nations. Where are the other twenty?


With Turkey digging its heels in and the Arab League suspicious, it has been pointed out that Mr Obama has fewer coalition partners in Libya than George Bush did at the start of the Iraq war.

He was criticised by both Republicans and Democrats over his decision to commit the U.S. military before going to Congress.
B-b-b-but, KrushchevsShoe said that he had international support, and Bush didn't, and that it was legal!!! Comment, Shoe-boy?

If we don't take out Qaddafi, our enemies will (correctly) perceive that they can do anything to their own people with impunity (something Obama has already demonstrated to the mullahs in Iran). If we do succeed, but it entails a long series of internal squabbles, then al Qaeda and other terror groups will feel free to overthrow our allies in the region, secure in the knowledge that any action that we take will be accompanied by the kind of inertia and fear of commitment that will provide them with all of the time that they need to accomplish their aims. Obama is making me nostalgic for the decisiveness and resolve of the Carter administration.

Arroyo_Doble
03-24-2011, 02:52 PM
Italians accuse French of backing NATO in exchange for oil contracts

That would certainly explain their haste to recognise the opposition and considering Italy's ties to Libya, that nation's pique.

Odysseus
03-24-2011, 03:08 PM
Italians accuse French of backing NATO in exchange for oil contracts

That would certainly explain their haste to recognise the opposition and considering Italy's ties to Libya, that nation's pique.

Oh, it's a funny charge, no doubt about it, but it's cutting because of the previous French government's implication in the Oil for Food for Graft scandal in Iraq.

Arroyo_Doble
03-24-2011, 03:29 PM
This solidifies my belief that this whole thing was done too quickly. It appears that the primary focus was getting UN sanction for action (BTW, just because to Brits don't want to adhere to the UN's mandate doesn't mean we have to follow them) without any real plan for our exit from the lead nation. NATO wasn't sewn up and France is talking about a committee?

Very sloppy. Anyone that says "dithering" again with regards to this will be laughed at.

Arroyo_Doble
03-24-2011, 03:39 PM
Turkish TV: NATO to command Libya operation (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42245475/ns/world_news-europe)

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.

"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.



Maybe Obama can pull this off.

Odysseus
03-24-2011, 04:52 PM
This solidifies my belief that this whole thing was done too quickly. It appears that the primary focus was getting UN sanction for action (BTW, just because to Brits don't want to adhere to the UN's mandate doesn't mean we have to follow them) without any real plan for our exit from the lead nation. NATO wasn't sewn up and France is talking about a committee?

Very sloppy. Anyone that says "dithering" again with regards to this will be laughed at.
No, because the haste was the result of having to slap it together at the last minute after weeks of doing nothing. By dithering until the last minute, and then finally taking hasty action, Obama wasted time that could have been spent establishing a chain of command, identifying resources, committing forces, pre-positioning them and deliberately executing the op, but I guess that planning for his Brazil trip and putting out his March Madness picks was a higher priority for the man.



Turkish TV: NATO to command Libya operation (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42245475/ns/world_news-europe)

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.

"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.

Maybe Obama can pull this off.

If, by pull this off, you mean allow the efforts of others to distract from his abysmal failure of leadership, that ship sailed. Ironic, since if Obama actually had ordered ships to sail, he wouldn't have been in this mess.

Articulate_Ape
03-25-2011, 04:46 PM
This reporter gives an excellent summary of the overall coalition strategy and it's objectives so far. He should be working for the White House.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1LNzIYUO3E