NATO military impotence: victory, which was defeated

NATO military impotence: victory, which was defeated

The fighting in Libya is still ongoing, but it is already impossible to imagine a return to power of Gaddafi. A peculiar indicator of the irreversibility of the process was the recognition of the new government by Peking, who for a long time has not suffered from any ideological “problems”, but is notable for exceptional pragmatism. Accordingly, we can sum up certain results. They are very sad for the main participants in the events - both for NATO and for Libya itself.


In the actions of Western countries, of course, we see only some kind of cynical background, as a rule, an oil one. At the same time, the fact that before the war 83% of Libyan oil exports accounted for the western countries (77% for Europe and 6% for the USA) was somehow ignored, and mostly Western companies mined Libyan oil. Why do you need to “grab” that which is yours is not very clear.

Moreover, now the cost of oil production in Libya will increase significantly, since much more money than before will have to be invested in protecting fields, transportation and loading routes.

The reasoning in our press that Gaddafi was “punished” for wanting to create a single African currency, which was to become a competitor for the main Western currencies, is even more comical. Today we are witnessing severe convulsions of the euro, although behind it stand the most powerful economies of the main EU countries. For African currency would be "economic giants" such as the Gambia, Niger, Burundi or Malawi. This, of course, is a deadly threat to Western finances.

The search for conspiracy versions loses the real situation, which is that the West represented by NATO proclaimed itself a defender of freedom and democracy throughout the world, which forces it to become a party to various conflicts outside the Euro-Atlantic region. And this happens under the pressure of Western public opinion, which requires intervention in conflicts in order to protect freedom and democracy.

However, this same public opinion is completely unprepared for the fact that their own armies would suffer any serious losses in these conflicts. This gives rise to a deep internal contradiction and reinforces double standards in the policies of Western countries, as the reduction of military capabilities increasingly limits the ability of real intervention in conflicts. In addition, it is often completely incomprehensible the criteria on the basis of which intervention in an alien conflict occurs, because, as a rule, it is extremely difficult to establish who is right and who is guilty in a given conflict and whether at least one of the parties is a bearer of freedom and democracy. In the Libyan conflict, all this was manifested very clearly.


It may be recalled that even before the start of direct Western intervention, Gaddafi lost almost half of the country, moreover, he was in complete international isolation. The colonel had long been fiercely hated by almost all Arab leaders, who considered him a terrorist. Only with Syria and Algeria did the Libyan leader maintain relatively good relations, but now the Syrians are certainly not in a position to help others, and Algeria does not consider it necessary for Gaddafi to quarrel with the West and other Arab countries.

Even before the NATO intervention, Gaddafi had no particular chance of remaining in power, as it seemed. Nevertheless, in mid-March, his troops launched a decisive attack on the rebels. The urgent intervention of NATO, initiated by France, was due to the fact that there was still a week - and there would be no one to save. In the Western media, the hysteria about the need to save the rebels reached the highest intensity, so the authorities simply had no choice.

After the start of the NATO bombings, there was absolutely no doubt that the defeat of Gaddafi was a matter of a maximum of a month, and most likely one or two weeks. The combat potential of the Libyan Armed Forces, even before the outbreak of the civil war, was completely incomparable with the potential of NATO (which was also joined by the not quite weak Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar). Moreover, after the 20-summer sanctions, the Libyan military equipment was mostly scrap metal. The Libya's air force and air defenses were in a state of collapse, and it was not for nothing that they never shot down any enemy aircraft or helicopters. In addition, as the experience of the 80 wars showed, the combat training of Libyans traditionally was at almost zero level.

Even unexpectedly, quick withdrawal from the US operation could not change the picture, because the potential of European countries was more than enough to finish the job as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, the war beyond all expectations has dragged on.

There was no question of a ground operation being conducted by European armies, because it would have turned out to be extremely expensive, and most importantly, NATO troops could incur losses! It is clear that the European governments could not take such a nightmarish risk. However, the air operation proved to be extremely limited in scale. In this case, among other things, the ephemeral nature of NATO solidarity, in which, for some reason, people continue to firmly believe in the outside world alliance.

To quote here the almost entirely notorious Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty: “Contracting Parties agree that an armed attack on one or more of them in Europe or North America will be considered as an attack on them as a whole and, therefore, agree that if such an armed attack takes place, each of them, in the exercise of the right to individual or collective self-defense, recognized by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, ok Jette help Contracting Party or the Contracting Parties, have been subjected to similar attacks by the immediate implementation of such individual or joint action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. "

As can be seen, the text of this article does not really imply the implementation of strict commitments by NATO members to fight for each other, Article 5 only gives such a right. In addition, it is clear that in the year 1949, when the Treaty was concluded, it was written for a single scenario: a massive invasion of Soviet troops in Western Europe. In all other cases, Article 5 did not work. For example, no NATO country helped the United States in Vietnam or Britain in its war with Argentina.

After the end of the Cold War, it became even more difficult to make collective decisions, given that NATO has the principle of consensus. Before the aggression against Yugoslavia in the 1999 year, Washington, London, Paris and Berlin for a month mollified Athens, who were against strikes against Serbia. "Bought" the Greeks by the fact that they themselves can not take part in the war.

Since then, internatovskaya discipline loosened even more, which again manifested itself in Libya. Although the operation took place under the command of NATO (which, by the way, we agreed on for a week), 14 from the 28 countries of the alliance did not take part in it at all. In fairness, it must be said that half of this half (Iceland, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Albania, Slovenia) could not take part in the war for good reason, since they have neither combat aircraft nor warships of the maritime zone.

But Germany, Greece, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia could contribute to the common effort, but did not consider it necessary to do so. Four more countries (Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania) sent one or two ships to carry out a naval blockade of Libya (this operation was obviously absolutely safe for NATO ships). The United States won only a week, which, however, cost them at least half a billion dollars (200 Tomahawks, crashed F-15, a sortie from the United States of three B-2, and limited tactical aviation).

Norway, Denmark, Canada, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, as well as the three above-mentioned non-NATO countries each sent to the war on 4 – 8 aircraft. In this case, the Swedes, the Dutch, the Spaniards, the Italians and the Arabs did not strike at ground targets, but only carried out air patrols, no less safe than a naval blockade, and just as completely useless from a military point of view. The Danish fourth F-16 had exhausted the entire supply of bombs of the country's air force by the beginning of the summer. Norway, which sent six F-16 aircraft to the war, brought them out of Italy to their homeland by August 1, since even such participation in the war turned out to be impossible for it. Belgium allocated six aircraft F-16 from 68, which were part of the country's Air Force, for the Libyan operation, but in July sold nine (from among the same 68) F-16 to Jordan - for the war of aircraft there were 1,5 times less than for sales.


As a result, the operation, formally regarded as NATO (even with expansion), became in fact Anglo-French (with symbolic Belgian-Canadian support). These two countries in total involved at least 50 combat aircraft, and then the Apache and Tiger helicopters that flew from the UDC “Ocean” and “Tonner”. However, the results were extremely limited. At each departure, one or two units of equipment from Gaddafi’s troops were knocked out at best, and often nothing at all. The consumption of extremely expensive precision-guided munitions turned out to be extremely high. Already in early August, the British started talking about the fact that the continuation of the operation was becoming impossible for them. Absolutely fantastic situation: for a nuclear power, the operation using all 30 aircraft, and warring in purely polygon conditions, became impossible only four months after its start!

From a military point of view, the NATO operation turned into a complete disgrace. But Gaddafi was strangled economically, because, as mentioned above, the entire Arab world turned away from him and he gradually ran out of money, fuel, food and ammunition. Replenish all this was not possible. In the end, Goliath took David out of the cold. In addition, France and Qatar began direct shipments. weapons the rebels. Finally, Western private military companies (PMCs) and, apparently, special forces began to take part in the battles. That is what made Tripoli fall.

The question arises about the legal side of this operation. I would like to remind you that the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1973 gave the mandate to provide a no-fly zone over Libya to protect the civilian population. And nothing more! The NATO + 3 coalition violated it almost immediately, as it began to directly fight for one of the parties. Its aircraft defended by no means civilians, who were not interesting to anyone at all, but provided support to armed rebels. I wonder what relation to the protection of which civilians had the support of the Anglo-French aviation of the assault by the rebels, or rather, now the “legitimate government”, Sirta?

Supplies of weapons to the rebels did not exactly fit into the UN resolution. As well as the more actions on the Libyan territory of special forces and PMCs. It is absolutely clear that NATO did not conduct a full-scale ground operation in Libya solely because of the fear of losses and the lack of combat-ready troops, and certainly not out of respect for international law. Statements that the supply of weapons and special operations are not an initiative of NATO, but individual countries are not worth a penny. First, it is impossible to verify, and secondly, what's the difference? The fact of violations is obvious, and the operation was conducted under the command of NATO.

The defenders of freedom and democracy acted according to the well-known principle “if it is impossible, but you really want it, then you can”. It turned out a certain international version of “basmanny justice”, when the law was replaced by political expediency in the conditions of deliberate impunity of those who crack down on their opponent, pretending to be ruled by a lawful court. However, there is some progress. If in the 1999 year, NATO committed aggression against Yugoslavia in its pure form, dispensing with any UN Security Council resolution, then in the case of Libya there was “only” an excess of authority.

Most likely, this progress is explained by the fact that over the past 12 years, NATO has become much weaker militarily, and this has automatically increased interest in the legalization of its actions. By the way, it is this weakening of NATO’s military potential that explains the categorical unwillingness of the alliance countries to fight in Syria, although there, in contrast to Libya, there is indeed a massive destruction of civilians. Yes, that's just the Syrian army is much stronger than the Libyan, besides, it maintains complete loyalty to Assad.

The paradox is that the political expediency of Libyan lawlessness for the West is completely unclear. As well as it is completely incomprehensible, what benefits did the West derive from the appearance in Europe of a criminal entity called the “Republic of Kosovo” headed by a “person” engaged in the trade in human organs. Or right now we are seeing how Egypt, neighboring Libya, having overthrown the Mubarak dictatorship, confidently moved along the path of "national Islamism." Moreover, the more democratic the presidential and parliamentary elections in this country are, the more the nationalist and Islamist tendencies will intensify in this country. It is absolutely impossible to understand how the West has benefited from what has now happened in this key country in the Middle East. But the problems with Egypt will now be mass, the farther, the more.


And in Libya there will be at least nothing better. Of course, Gaddafi was not a benefactor. He was a despot. But he rallied an artificially created country and, on the whole, achieved a high standard of living of the population due to oil and gas revenues. Gaddafi was replaced by a strange conglomerate of his former comrades-in-arms who did not share power with him, tribal leaders and al-Qaeda militants, some of whom managed to make war against the US in Afghanistan and even spend several years in Guantanamo. To one of these groups of individuals, the term “democracy”, as it is easy to understand, is not applicable in principle. And among themselves, these "comrades" are compatible only as long as there is a common enemy.

Almost certainly in the new Libya there will be a formal central government that has no power, and its members will constantly squabble among themselves. The real power will belong to numerous field commanders in the field. The only question is whether a relatively unprincipled walking-field will arise in Libya with the sale of drugs to Europe on an industrial scale and, which is possible, with piracy in the Mediterranean, including raids on the European coast? Or will the dictatorship of radical Islamists? However, the first may well lead to the second.

Libya is very close to Europe, and there is a lot of oil and gas in it. Therefore, it can not in extreme cases quit and forget. Europe is already guaranteed a further increase in the flow of refugees, both purely economic (the living standards of Libyans are obviously greatly reduced compared with the times of Gaddafi) and political, fleeing from repression by the new authorities. And this will result in huge costs and political problems for the EU.

And if pirates, drug traffickers, Al-Qaeda appear in Libya? The fight against all these "troubles" will require huge costs from Europeans. And the attempt to prevent them, perhaps, even more investments. Therefore, even with the most favorable developments in Libya, this country will hang a heavy weight on the EU countries - for geographical reasons, as well as because of the notorious oil.

It was with the beginning of the Libyan events that oil in Europe began to cost more than in America, and much more (before that it was always the other way around). The United States has been consistently reducing oil imports from the Middle East for a long time, while Europe, China, and Japan are only increasing. The loss of Libyan oil for the United States does not mean anything, but for Europeans it is very painful, so oil must be returned. However, it will be extremely difficult to mine it in the walking-field; PMCs will have to pay a lot to protect the oilmen (even if Western companies receive preferences in oil production). And if Islamists come to power in Libya, they may not give anyone any oil.

The appearance of peacekeepers in Libya, that is, regular foreign troops, is unlikely, although it is not completely ruled out. Europeans already have enough Afghanistan, Americans - Afghanistan and Iraq, besides, why should the US save Europeans? You can, of course, bring fighters from developing countries to Libya, but, as the numerous operations of UN troops in Africa show, they have never succeeded in preventing bloodshed.

The most paradoxical result will be the growth of influence in Libya of China. This country is best at catching fish in troubled waters (this is what Chinese stratagem No. 20 teaches). Although he will not be easy.

But the worst of all (except for the Libyans themselves) in any case will be the Europeans, which will be a fair price for their scandalous military weakness and cowardice under the guise of powerful force. For glaring double standards, for a deep principled principle, organically developing into complete lack of principle. And for breaking the laws, in strict compliance with which they swear at every corner.
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