Politics

Libya: NATO Takes Lead, Americans Do 65% of Work

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Although the Obama Administration maintains that the U.S. role in the Libyan civil war is "limited" and thus does not violate the Constitution or the War Powers Act, deployment numbers show that the United States is by far the largest player in the anti-Qadafy coalition. 

This wouldn't even make a good Avalon Hill game.

Ye Olde Manchester Guardian says that through May 5, the U.S. contribution to the expanded-NATo operation in support of the Libyan opposition amounted to 65 percent of the personnel, a third of the warships and nearly all the cruise missiles. Surprisingly, the rest of the coalition is actually pulling its weight in flying, with the U.S. accounting for only a third of total sorties: 

[B]esides the US—which dominates operations with over 8,000 personnel in the area in several ships and aircraft at the peak of the first weeks of the war—the weight of the conflict has fallen on the British, Italians, French and Canadians. The British have flown around 1,300 sorties, some 25% of the total, followed by the French with 1,200 and the Italians with 600. The Canadians, who have the HMCS Charllottetown in the region, have taken part in over 350 sorties up to the 5 May this year.

Simultaneously, the US, UK, Canada are heavily involved in combat operations in Afghanistan.

But it's not just the usual suspects. Denmark and Norway have both taken part in attack strikes on Libya—dropping nearly 700 bombs between them. Sweden has 122 personnel and eight aircraft in the region and Belgium has flown 60 sorties.

In contrast, the Arab states involved—Jordan, Qatar and the UAE—have been reluctant to scale up their role. Between them they have 125 personnel in the operation and 32 aircraft, however Jordan does not take part in combat operations. Qatar has flown joint patrols with French forces on at least three occasions, but only to enforce the no-fly zone.

Time to dust off the old Gulf War joke: What's the Saudi national anthem? "Onward, Christian Soldiers."