Operation 'Odyssey Dawn'- Lots of Noise, But Little Purpose
A former British air force commander said a clear objective in Libya is needed before launching airstrikes. Now the strikes are on and may produce the "Biggest Show in Town" but unfortunately, little more. But what is the objective of Operation 'Odyssey Dawn'? Does it include a regime change, or physical removal of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi personally? If so, what of his seven sons – are they to be targeted too? As far as we know, UNSC Resolution 1973 calls for the "halt in the fighting and to achieve a ceasefire". It does not explicitly call for the removal of Col Muammar Gaddafi or a even a regime change. In fact, it specifies clearly that no ground action is permitted: It "authorizes member states to "take all necessary means to protect civilians", but crucially excludes any "foreign occupation force" moving into the territory of Qaddafi's Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, in most sweeping terms. So what 'necessary means' can the operation take to achieve to protect civilians? Without getting 'boots on the ground' very little can be achieved in any military action. Even hitting high-profile targets will become difficult, when hidden, or well camouflaged in urban environment., without 'eyes on the ground'. So what is the purpose behind all this noise?