Marmarica et Cyrenaica ab ovo usque ad mala: A Friday Libyan Omnibus

18 hours on a tuna boat from Malta to Misrata (Photo: Charles Barlow)

We don’ t usually indulge in omnibus type posts here on KOW, but what the heck: it’s Friday.

It looks as if the apparent glory of the Libyan mission is going to be spread widely, with all and sundry claiming victory.  Canada’s Stephen Harper and France’s Nicholas Sarkozy are leading the charge, while Britain’s David Cameron is also pleased with himself.   For all three statesmen, the hope is that this ‘good war’ (a noble cause combined with no Western casualties)  can translate into ‘great politics’ at home.

As James Kirkup of The Guardian states, though, the aftermath of the war will be rough for Cameron:

Mission not yet accomplished. Difficult days ahead. A lot of work still to do.  Those are the lines-to-take for ministers discussing Libya this week. Publicly, there is to be no jubilation, no crowing about the apparent success of David Cameron’s first major foreign policy adventure. Privately though, there is celebration, and relief. The PM is said to feel no little satisfaction at his apparent vindication.  He should enjoy that feeling while he can, because regardless of what happens in Libya next, he will shortly face some difficult questions arising from his military intervention.

The apparent contradiction between the recent utility of the British Armed Forces and the ongoing deep cuts to capability is going to be difficult for Cameron to paper over.  Will the swan in Cyrenica turn out to be the siren of the cygnus for D.C.?

In the US, opinion is mixed over whether or not Libya was evidence of an Obama Doctrine.  Micheal O’Hanlon is cautiously satisfied, and Max Boot wants to ‘wait and see’:

if it fails, andLibya devolves into anarchy or despotism, this operation will likely be remembered as a tactical triumph that didn’t translate into strategic success. The outcome still hangs in the balance.

At a more tactical level, this little gem is quite an amusing tale of how the Libyan rebels got their hands on a beauty of a mini-UAV.  The protagonist is a very good friend of mine: a mix of Flashman and Fitzroy Maclean who always seems to land on his feet.  BZ, Charles!

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