Foreign Policy

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."

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  1. 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 has been by far the largest player in the anti-Qadafy coalition.

    FTFY.
    The article does not detail current levels of contribution, but overall contribution. It hints at the fact that he US involvement is diminishing, however.

    [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

    We shouldn’t be there. I don’t support the action, but it seems you could work a little harder to present things accurately.

    1. Why is there any reason to beleive the overall contribution is significantly different than the current contribution? What what the fuck does “hints it is diminishing” mean? Either we are ending it or we are not. Hints at is just wishful thinking on your part.

      1. His boyfriend is in charge, so it’s time to break out the nuance when it comes to war.

      2. Why is there any reason to beleive the overall contribution is significantly different than the current contribution?

        Because we have been “handing over duties” for quite awhile now.

        What what the fuck does “hints it is diminishing” mean?
        It means, even the cited article indicates that the US involvement peaked in the first few weeks. The words “at the peak” indicate that the current level is lower.

        Either we are ending it or we are not. Hints at is just wishful thinking on your part.

        No. I just think the post misrepresents reality.

        1. “Handing over duties”, huh? I thought the preferred nomenclature was “Mission Accomplished”.

    2. No, Neu has a point. Showing the cummulative contribution is not the same thing as showing the current contribution. For example, a running total of WW2 fighting from Sept ’39 to June ’41 would be radically different than a snapshot of fighting just in July 1941.

  2. “This wouldn’t even make a good Avalon Hill game” hahahahahaha – obv an Axis & Allies reference, nerd.

    1. Axis & Allies was but a Pat Boone safe-for-the-squares cover version of the hardcore genius that was Rise & Decline of the Third Reich. Give me hexagons and 20-hour playing times!

  3. I’m pretty sure the Constitution allows the President to start any war he wants just so long as the resulting erection lasts less than 4 hours.

  4. I don’t seem to recall a clause in the constitution that says congress has the sole authority to sent the nation to war “unless there’s an international coalition that takes the lead, then the President has that power all by his majestic self”.

  5. And yet, the anti-war movement is silent, because team blue is in office.

    1. Which anti-war movement? There is no single, uniform anti-war movement. Libertarian anti-war organisations like antiwar.com remain, well, anti-war.

      1. Point taken. I should have specified the Liberal anti-war movement.

  6. Looks like a complicated revamp of Battleship ™

  7. Has it changed since May 5?

  8. That’s definately one dandy of a chart. The circles on the map are easy enough but the stack of fighter planes is awesome. Does anyone have the code for that?

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