French soldiers are winched down from a helicopter next to an E2C-Hawkeye airborne early warning and control plane on the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle during the international military operations in Libya
Image courtesy Guardian UK
The Qaddafi I Know
The Libyan leader was no saint. But the West was wrong to intervene in African affairs.
BY YOWERI MUSEVENI | MARCH 24, 2011
By the time Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi came to power in 1969, I was a third-year university student at Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. We welcomed his rise because he was a leader in the tradition of Col. Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt who had a nationalist and pan-Arabist position.
Soon, however, problems cropped up with Qaddafi as far as Uganda and black Africa were concerned:
Backing Idi Amin: Idi Amin came to power in 1971 with the support of Britain and Israel because they thought he was uneducated enough to be used by them. Amin, however, turned against his sponsors when they refused to sell him guns to fight Tanzania. Unfortunately, Qaddafi, without first getting enough information about Uganda, jumped in to support Idi Amin. He did this because Amin was a “Moslem” and Uganda was a “Moslem country,” where Moslems were being “oppressed” by Christians. Amin killed a lot of people extra-judicially, and Qaddafi was identified with these mistakes.
In 1972 and 1979, Qaddafi sent Libyan troops to defend Amin when we [the Uganda National Liberation Front] attacked him. I remember a Libyan Tupolev Tu-22 bomber trying to bomb us in Mbarara in 1979. The bomb ended up in Nyarubanga, Burundi, because the pilots were scared. They could not come close to bombing their intended target properly. We had already shot-down many of Amin’s MIGs using surface-to-air missiles. Our Tanzanian brothers and sisters were doing much of this fighting. Many Libyan militias were captured and repatriated to Libya by Tanzania. This was a big mistake by Qaddafi and a direct aggression against the people of Uganda and East Africa.
Pushing for a United States of Africa: The second big mistake by Qaddafi was his position vis-à-vis the African Union (AU), where he called for a continental government “now.” Since 1999, he has been pushing this position. Black people are always polite. They, normally, do not want to offend other people. This is called obufura in the Runyankore language, or mwolo in Luo — handling, especially strangers, with care and respect. It seems some of the non-African cultures do not have obufura. You can witness a person talking to a mature person as if he or she is talking to a kindergarten child. “You should do this; you should do that; etc.” We tried to politely point out to Qaddafi that continental governance was difficult in the short and medium term. We should, instead, aim at the Economic Community of Africa and, where possible, also aim at Regional Federations.
But Qaddafi would not relent. He would not respect the rules of the AU. Topics or discussions that had been covered by previous meetings would be resurrected by Qaddafi. He would “overrule” a decision taken by all other African heads of state. Some of us were forced to come out and oppose his wrong position and, working with others, we repeatedly defeated his illogical position.
Proclaiming himself king of kings: The third mistake has been the tendency by Qaddafi to interfere in the internal affairs of many African countries, using the little money Libya has compared to those countries. One blatant example was his involvement with cultural leaders of black Africa — kings, chiefs, etc. Since the political leaders of Africa had refused to back his project of an African government, Qaddafi, incredibly, thought that he could bypass them and work with these kings to implement his wishes. I warned Qaddafi in Addis Ababa that action would be taken against any Ugandan king who involved himself in politics, because it was against our Constitution. I moved a motion in Addis Ababa to expunge from the records of the AU all references to kings (cultural leaders) who had made speeches in our forum, because they had been invited there illegally by Col. Qaddafi.
Original article can be found here – http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/03/24/the_qaddafi_I_know
NATO’s leaders met on Friday to work out the details of a flight ban over Libya after the U.N. Security Council gave the international community a mandate to protect civilians under attack by government forces. Although it is a complex military operation, but the United States and its allies have accomplished similar feats more than once in recent history.
In 1991, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Turkey and other states intervened in Kurdish-Iraqi dispute in northern Iraq by establishing a no-fly zone in which Iraqi aircraft were prevented from flying. The intent of the no-fly zone was to prevent possible bombing and chemical attacks against the Kurdish people by the Iraqi regime.
Operation Sky Monitor was a NATO mission to monitor unauthorized flights in the airspace of Bosnia-Herzegovina during theBosnian War.During Operation Sky Monitor, aircraft operated in two “orbits”, one over the Adriatic established on October 16, and a second one over Hungary, established with the permission of the Hungarian government on October 31. Both of these orbits operated 24 hours a day, providing constant surveillance of Bosnian airspace.
Alliance military planners said they could deploy dozens of fighter-bombers, AWACS, fuel tankers, and unmanned drones to a string of air bases along Europe’s southern perimeter from which to send patrols over Libya.
Huffington post reports
Maintaining the zone will require aerial refueling tankers, as well as radar-monitoring AWACS(Airborne Warning and Control System) command aircraft, to manage the complex choreography of inbound and outbound aircraft, and JSTARS (Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System) jets. The latter craft are modified Boeing 707 airliners packed with electronics that enable onboard analysts to find, identify, track and target individual tanks and other armored vehicles. That target data is passed on to the precision-guided weapons that are launched from strike aircraft.
It is likely that the United States will provide AWACS and JSTARS as well as aerial refueling tankers, while the British and French contribute strike fighters, although U.S. Air Force and Navy jets are positioned to fly missions as well.
An initial strike package of jets designed to jam and destroy enemy radar would precede the establishment of a no-fly zone. But the JSTARS can provide surveillance and targeting from outside Libyan missile range — and unmanned drone aircraft could be used as well to avoid the remote possibility of having pilots shot down over Libya.
These operations could cost between $100 million and $300 million per week, depending on the number of aircraft involved, according to an analysis by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington think tank.
If Gaddafi refuses to obey a cease-fire order, the international coalition could agree on a hard strike against airfields and armored columns, troop barracks, military headquarters and other military facilities that already have been identified and targeted. A full-out strike might cost between $500 million and $1 billion, according to the CSBA analysis.
Some of that tab might be picked up by Arab states in the Persian Gulf, which have promised to help.