Winners are not judged?
For quite a long time, the intelligence services of the United States and Great Britain were preparing a "democratic revolution" in Libya, although in the civilized world this is called a coup d'état. Since voluntary transfer of power and “democratic” elections was out of the question, it was necessary to create a precedent for the start of the “revolution”. Intelligence agencies actively began to work on organizing the opposition of the ruling regime in the country, M. Gaddafi, both in Libya itself and abroad. In parallel with Libya, the same work was carried out in a number of other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. For obvious reasons, the governments of these countries did not advertise the work of their secret departments.
In 2008, the American command of special operations forces (MTR) in Europe began implementing the decision of the US president to create a special "African Command", called "SOCAFRICA". The deployment of the African Command to full operational and operational readiness was completed at the beginning of 2009. The main application of SOCAFRICA included: crisis response, planning and carrying out special operations, work with civil administration, information operations, programs of education and training of armed formations. Immediately after its deployment, SOCAFRICA was tasked to conduct more than forty events in thirteen countries in Africa. In addition, SOCAFRICA has launched a program to conduct a large number of seminars and courses to train the armed forces of some African states. At the same time, activities were actively carried out on relations with the civil administration, the purpose of which was mainly focused on undermining public support for extremist and terrorist organizations that operated on the continent. Under this pretext, work was also done to discredit certain ruling regimes that were not particularly loyal to the United States and some members of the alliance. The main efforts were focused on the strategically important regions of North and Central Africa.
The first fruits of such a policy appeared in Egypt and Tunisia, where it was possible to change the ruling regimes without bloodshed. But the seven-month standoff of the loyal forces of Gaddafi and the Transitional National Council (PNS) army shows that even with the massive air support and naval blockade of the Egyptian and Tunisian scenario in Libya somehow did not work out. First of all, this was based on a fairly high standard of living of the indigenous Libyans compared with the inhabitants of neighboring countries. The social policy pursued by the Gaddafi regime, gave the indigenous people of the country huge and social benefits, such as free housing, government subsidies, etc. The Bedouins - the indigenous people of Libya - have long been considered the best warriors in the Arab world. Not without reason, even in the Israeli army there are special Bedouin tribal units that have the main task of conducting reconnaissance and sabotage operations in the rear of the enemy. The main core of the PNS armed formations is made up of foreign workers who arrived to work in Libya from poorer Arab countries, and a small part of the urban population, which has long ceased to have a nomadic lifestyle and lost its combat skills. There is no reason to talk about the high combat training of these formations, as evidenced by the major successes of the regular Libyan army in the first months of confrontation. The al-Qaeda militants from among the Libyan citizens who participated in the hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, although they had experience in guerrilla warfare, were not suitable for large-scale hostilities. And here is a sharp turn: almost the entire territory of the country is under the control of the Transitional Government, Tripoli is in the hands of rebels, there is euphoria in the whole “democratic world”. And no one wonders how it turned out that untrained groups of armed rebels in one or two months could turn into a powerful combat unit. The answer is simple - help from foreign countries.
One of the main roles in this performance was played by the British secret service MI-6 and units of British special forces (SAS). It is no longer a secret that since the end of February the third battalion of the Royal British Regiment, numbering more than 600 military personnel, the bulk of which had experience of fighting in Afghanistan, was brought to full alert and was in constant readiness for transfer to Libya. In early March, a warship of the Royal Navy of Great Britain entered the port of Benghazi, and on the very territory of Libya there were already SAS Special Forces soldiers who officially provided security and evacuation of British citizens. And how did the British military get into the territory of a foreign state? Answer: Under the guise of civilians, they arrived in Libya in advance and settled in Benghazi. Weapon and equipment waited for them in the British consulate, a strange coincidence, because it was Benzagi who became the center and stronghold of the “revolution.” If you look at events from this angle, you can see the direct participation of the British military and intelligence services in organizing the coup. But the British military in Libya were not alone, although Western politicians constantly tried to make excuses on questions about the participation of foreign forces in the war in Libya, the Libyan army from the very first days of the insurrection had military clashes with "unknown" military formations. 31 was dropped by 2011 in March, when one of the representatives of the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch, Peter Bookert, accidentally revealed interesting facts to journalists confirming the presence of foreign military units in Libya, in particular, he pointed out that the PNS sappers managed to make a passage in the minefields in the area of the city of Ajdabiya, while harming more than 50 mines of foreign production, both anti-personnel and anti-tank. Of course, in a month you can teach a person to shoot with a machine gun. But it is almost impossible to prepare a group of qualified sappers capable of neutralizing anti-personnel mines. Al-Qaida militants, of course, have a notion of a mine-explosive, but they are unlikely to be able to make passes for troops, but a group of army sappers will cope with this task without difficulty.
The UN Security Council Resolution No. XXUMX not only untied the hands of particularly zealous NATO members to launch air strikes, but also made it possible to almost officially prepare and carry out a ground operation to remove M. Gaddafi from power. The rebels were unable to eliminate Gaddafi on their own, and urgent intervention was required from outside. Another month, from strength - two, and nothing would be left of the rebellion. At the same time, it was possible to observe the intensification of the actions of the special forces of France, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, which, from providing assistance to the training of armed formations, increasingly began to move on to active combat operations. In particular, let us recall the unsuccessful attempt of Qatari special forces to capture Gaddafi’s daughter, Aisha. During the operation, Aisha's guards destroyed more than half of the attackers, while those who remained alive urgently retreated, leaving their fallen comrades. The first air strikes against the government army caused significant damage to it. But the command promptly changed tactics and also, as the rebels, moved from tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to jeeps and pickups. The effectiveness of air raids decreased, which often led to strikes against rebel positions. Good spotters are needed to deliver pinpoint strikes, the rebels didn’t have them, and there was no time to train such specialists either. In addition to trained specialists, more equipment is needed for such adjustments. However, Western countries were in no hurry to supply the rebels with high-tech weapons, fearing that they would fall into other hands. Recall Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Soviet troops, the United States had to buy its "Stingers" from field commanders so that later they would not be used by anyone else against civil airliners. The task of adjusting took over the units of the British SAS and special forces of France. A little later, they were joined by units of the second regiment of the French Foreign Legion. Special Forces officers moved directly into the militant orders of the rebels and organized targeting of aircraft and cruise missiles at the battlefield. In order to somehow hide the facts of their stay, they were dressed in Libyan national clothing. One of the top officials in the leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance 1973 in September, in an interview with CNN, stated that “the units of the special forces of Great Britain, France, Jordan and Qatar, while in Libya during the last days, began an active phase of action in order to maximally promote rebels deep into the territory of Libya. "
British "special forces" in every way help the rebel formations in organizing and conducting operations, and a certain number of "special forces" from different countries accompany the rebels throughout Libya. In general, foreign special forces helped the rebels to qualitatively improve their tactics of military operations. Special Forces officers in every possible way provided the Alliance aviation with data on targets for air strikes, carried out laser illumination for targeting cruise missiles, and also conducted reconnaissance operations in Tripoli itself. This was especially true in recent days, when both warring parties came together in close combat. "Among other things, the main merit of the special forces is the organization of communications during the capture of Tripoli." Is this not a direct proof of the conduct of the ground operation, from which the NATO leadership was so disavowed? And, of course, what a conflict without the United States. Although US officials refute their direct participation in the events taking place in Libya, the White House came up with ideas on the use of its special forces to correct air strikes and assist insurgents in a land operation. The leadership of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States stated that in February the CIA sent several special groups to Libya for ground support for the rebels, although, according to unverified information, these groups were in Libya much earlier. For a better understanding of the role of the United States in the events in Libya, it is necessary to recall the actions of the US special forces in Afghanistan. In these operations, the US military leadership used and worked out a new tactics of warfare. A new tactic was to combine the application of massed air strikes with the actions of special forces. The task of the special forces was to direct aviation and provide maximum assistance to anti-Taliban armed groups. The goal of such tactics is to make the Afghans fight each other and thereby reduce their losses. That is the old Roman principle "Divide and conquer." This tactic allowed the Taliban to be seriously defeated at the initial stage without conducting a large-scale land operation. The goal was achieved, and the ongoing war for the past ten years - a small cost of "production". Now this proven and adjusted tactic has been moved to Libya. If successful, and he is inevitable, the government of the United States and Great Britain in the future will be able to organize any coup in any “disagreeable” state. But let's talk about this later, back to the situation in Libya.
Of course, the culmination of a foreign military presence was the operation to capture the capital of Libya, Tripoli. The operation was codenamed Mermaid Dawn. From start to finish, she was fully planned by British intelligence MI-6 in close cooperation with senior management of the Transitional National Council of Libya. The first phase of the operation consisted in the selection and training of volunteers who, under the guise of ordinary citizens, secretly entered Tripoli and were awaiting a conditional signal. The training of these volunteers in special training camps in the Benghazi area was carried out by specialists from the number of British and French special forces. A detailed briefing conducted by staff MI-6. Simultaneously, the rebel armed formations were trained to conduct combat operations in urban conditions, laying mines and land mines, organizing and conducting radio communications. After all, street fighting is the most difficult type of battle, and much depends on the organization of interaction between the units of the attacking troops. In advance, several tons of ammunition, weapons, ammunition and explosives were delivered and hidden in secret warehouses in Tripoli in deep secrecy. Similar actions were carried out in other cities closest to Tripoli. Along with volunteers and fighters of foreign special forces trained in Benghazi, units of ethnic Libyans from among ardent opponents of the ruling regime in Libya living in recent years in Great Britain also participated in the storming of Tripoli. The so-called Sheikh Mahdi Brigade, numbering about 350, was formed from Libyan immigrants living in Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and Dublin. During 4 months, this formation, together with the special forces of the United States, Britain, France and Qatar, was trained in the mountains in the west of Libya. In the evening of August 20, the brigade entered Tripoli and began to perform combat missions. When the agreed signal arrived at the start of the Tripoli assault, the battle groups began to operate. The next phase of the operation began, aimed at the psychological processing of the local population, which was conducted by the newly-made Libyan media. Almost all residents of the capital at the same time received text SMS messages to their mobile phones with a call to support the uprising, as well as instructions on how to act in this situation. In the midst of fighting for the city, warships of NATO entered the port of Tripoli, delivering heavy weapons and equipment to the insurgents. Thus, the capital of Libya fell. All phases of the operation "Dawn of the Mermaid" were carried out in the conditions of the strictest secrecy. Although the British side played a key role in it, many members of the UK government learned about it from media reports.
In those days, the Sunday Times Publishers reported, with reference to official sources, that the main reason for the acceleration of events in Libya was “work on the spot special groups from the UK, France and Qatar”. Foreign experts have created an effective system for the collection and exchange of information for the correction and air strikes. The rebels reported via satellite communications about the situation prevailing on the battlefield, after which the Alliance aircraft attacked the targets and forces of the government forces. This system directly included: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and reconnaissance aircraft of NATO countries, the command post of French elite troops in the town of Zuvaytina, which is 150 km south-west of Benghazi. At the same time, all radio and telephone communications in Libya were under the complete control of electronic intelligence by the United States. In order to support the opposition, the alliance's aviation has significantly intensified its actions, starting from 20 August it constantly strikes all facilities that were under the control of government troops. The direction of the strikes from the ground was carried out by units of British special forces, as well as UAVs constantly stationed in the skies over the city, guided by US specialists. On the night of August 21, Alliance aviation attacked Tripoli more than forty times. The British Air Force, in particular, used satellite-operated heavy bombs Paveway-4. Of course, the capture of Tripoli did not go smoothly, as the Western media showed, but Western leaders are also silent about this. The attempt to land the French and English units in Tripoli was not entirely successful, afterwards the Western media would call it “unsuccessful rebel attack”. Strangely enough, the peak of the losses of Great Britain and France in Afghanistan for some reason coincided with the operation to capture Tripoli. Maybe this is just a coincidence?
But even after the fall of Tripoli and the announcement by the leaders of the Transitional National Council to seize control of almost the entire territory of the country, the confrontation between the loyal forces of Gaddafi and the rebels continues. And the operation of the NATO forces in Libya continues, although more than once the command of the alliance has declared that the operation is being phased out. Armed rebel formations, in cooperation with foreign special forces, continue to storm the last strongholds of Gaddafi. In addition, the fighters of the 22 Special Aviation Regiment received a personal order from the British Prime Minister to take over the leadership of all rebel forces searching for Gaddafi, that is, in fact the British Prime Minister gave a personal order to his military to find and possibly destroy and the investigation of a citizen of another state. In addition, information has been leaked to the press that France is assisting the Transitional National Council of Libya in catching Gadhafi, whose specialists are trying to track down suspicious phone calls and establish their origin. Also to the search for Gaddafi joined the CIA and MTR units of several countries.
Meanwhile, in the PNS camp, disagreements more and more began to occur due to internal inconsistencies and differences in the leadership of the rebels. As long as the loyal forces of Gaddafi still hold, these differences are not very visible, and the international media look at them through their fingers. But what will happen when the last resistance is broken and M. Gaddafi still will not? The sharing of power will entail a lot of blood. The Bedouins have strong ties of blood feud, which can fire after a considerable time. But, as in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, these are small costs of “production”, and the winners, as we know, are not judged. But let's go back to the strategy of the NATO countries in this conflict. All leading political analysts and experts in a detailed analysis of the conflict agree on one thing: with regard to Libya, a complex of events of various levels and complexity was carried out, ranging from the organization of provocations and the first unrest to the famous UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which marked the beginning of NATO air strikes. All these actions organically fit into the idea of the concept of soft use of force that is fashionable and widespread in Western countries. The basis for the implementation of this concept are various measures, primarily in the media. The average western man in the street should receive only “truthful” information on the one hand, the second one is always “lying”. The next step is for the secret services to carry out actions and activities that lead to the emergence of the opposition, and the third phase - active demonstrations that lead to direct armed clashes between the rebels and government forces. And further, easily predictable reaction of the world community. Although initially NATO countries refused ground operations in Libya, they still had to take this step. The main reason lay in the rebels themselves, or rather in their unwillingness to fight against government forces, even with full air support. During the operation, NATO aircraft made more than 22000 sorties, the results of which are quite far from ideal. The plan for conducting the operation on the ground was carried out in a comprehensive manner, ranging from supporting opposition leaders, resource support, information support to intelligence support and training for armed insurgent groups. And only after this formation, the rebels began to conduct successful combat operations against the army of Colonel M. Gaddafi.
If you look at the questions that dealt with the problems encountered during the NATO operation in Libya, you can highlight, first of all, the direct discrepancy between the previously stated goals of the NATO mission. Having initially defined its role in Libya as the protection of civilians and humanitarian aid, the mission turned into a direct armed invasion. Although it was clear to the leaders of the alliance from the very beginning of the operation that there were no other ways to solve the tasks set so long as Gaddafi remained in power in Libya. Nevertheless, the alliance publicly rejected the forced change of regime, which at the initial stage deprived it of the necessary purposefulness in conducting a military operation. The situation radically changed after the United Kingdom, France and Italy, with the support of the United States, sent special advisers to Libya and began to directly supply weapons, equipment, and create an effective communication and communications system. We began to provide intelligence to the rebels, as well as to coordinate the strikes of NATO aircraft and fleets on the concentration sites of government troops. But why did the North Atlantic alliance initially choose such a half way in Libya? The essence of the answer is that all decisions in the alliance are taken by consensus, and such major players as Germany and Turkey with a number of other NATO members were against carrying out an active land operation. Since the UN Security Council resolution allowed only the protection of civilians, these members of the alliance did not have much desire to do more than what the UN Security Council decided. In turn, Germany in advance simply brought its warships out of the Mediterranean, in order to prevent its accidental involvement in hostilities. The events around Libya have demonstrated one of the deepest problems that have arisen in the North Atlantic alliance, namely, not the coincidence of interests in the use of military force of some members of the alliance in front of the growing interests of others. After a long break, Great Britain and France are beginning to claim their rights to the world order. Among other things, the victory of the forces of the alliance in Libya again returned to NATO countries faith in their own military forces, which was severely undermined in recent years due to catastrophic failures in Afghanistan. Hiding behind UN resolutions and some kind of “democracy”, they work out mechanisms for changing unwanted governments and compile lists of rogue countries. Such a policy leads to increased anti-American and anti-Western sentiment in the global community. And pushes the leaders of the third world to acquire at least some weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, as experience shows, those who do not have weapons of mass destruction are not immune from a sudden "revolution." After the collapse of the regime M. Gaddafi in some countries of the North Atlantic Alliance is already openly talking about Syria and Iran, whose fate may soon be in the midst of another regional conflict. And if, for the time being, Russia and China are restraining these impulses in the UN Security Council, which may prevent the second, third and fourth time from repeating the Libyan scenario with the “revolution”. The era of "unconventional war" is coming. The military-political theorists of the United States and NATO put into the concept of “unconventional war” a rather wide range of military and paramilitary tasks, often designed for a long period of time. An unconventional war is very convenient for "great powers", it can be carried out, without advertising its presence, in any territories controlled by the enemy, as well as in areas of geopolitical and especially economic interest for the countries of the alliance. First of all, this war is conducted with the involvement of the loyal local population, its partisan and paramilitary formations, on the basis of which representatives of the special operations service organize the rebel movement. At the same time, own losses are minimized. The main forms of such a strategy can be long-term combat operations using guerrilla war tactics, as well as acts of civil disobedience, sabotage, and sabotage.
To better understand the tactics of the NATO operation conducted against Libya and the role that the special operations service played in it, it is necessary to turn to primary sources in the US armed forces and other NATO member countries. These sources formally define the powers of the military control bodies of all ranks, and also strictly outline the terms of reference of officials for the preparation and conduct of operations and the use of the forces and equipment allocated for these purposes. The list of the main and additional tasks of the special operations service in modern conditions is clearly defined in the US armed forces. The main tasks include the fight against terrorism, countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, special intelligence, directional actions, information operations, psychological operations, civil administration operations, assistance to foreign states in ensuring internal security.
Additional tasks include: coalition support, the fight against drugs and drug business, search and rescue operations, humanitarian aid, special measures.
Let's take a closer look at these tasks.
The fight against terrorism is considered one of the main tasks assigned to the special operations forces by the main military-political leadership of the United States. It considers the MTR as the most effective tool for carrying out all kinds of anti-terrorist operations in any part of the world. According to the US plans, the MTR should wage an active, offensive struggle against terrorism, with the goal of identifying and completely eliminating the full range of threats from extremist terrorist organizations. In this area, the activities of the special operations service are carried out in two directions: the first direction is the use of anti-terrorism measures aimed at reducing the vulnerability to terrorist acts, the second direction is the holding of special measures aimed at stopping terrorist acts, regardless of their location. The forms and methods of action are different and may include: eliminating the leaders of terrorist organizations, intelligence operations, freeing the hostages, attacking terrorist networks and their infrastructure, eliminating ideological grounds for conducting terrorist activities, information and analytical measures against terrorist organizations.
Countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is to combat the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. It aims to protect the territory and interests, as well as US citizens abroad. The main objective of the actions of special operations forces is to prevent or limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery, development and production of appropriate technologies. This task involves carrying out activities such as: collecting and analyzing intelligence information about certain materials, processing them, developing and conducting research in the field of the production of weapons of mass destruction, supporting diplomacy efforts to prevent non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, exercising control over certain types of weapons of mass destruction, export control.
In this direction, special operations forces work closely with other US and NATO governments.
Special intelligence. Due to their specific training, units of the special operations service are engaged to conduct special intelligence in any state in order to collect or verify intelligence at the operational or strategic level. Special intelligence is conducted in order to obtain or verify the amount of information that relates to determining the intentions and possibilities of action of a real or potential adversary. The tasks of special intelligence include the provision of effective general-purpose assistance to general-purpose troops during the performance of operational or strategic tasks. Special reconnaissance actions may be directed at collecting geographic, hydrographic, demographic, meteorological, economic, and other information, at determining the coordinates of targets for subsequent air strikes or missile strikes, and evaluating the impact of strikes.
Directed action. Provide for the conduct of the MTR units of short-term and limited in scale and time of special operations anywhere in the world. With the aim of capturing, mastering, capturing, incapacitating or completely destroying targets and objects aimed at performing certain operational tasks, as well as supporting the actions of general-purpose troops in the interests of accomplishing strategic tasks. They include: setting up ambushes, conducting raids, setting up explosive devices, storming objects, determining targets for air strikes against land or sea-based objects that are located outside the zone of direct contact with the enemy. Designation of targets for strikes with precision weapons, support for operations of general-purpose forces, sabotage, acts of sabotage, the seizure or destruction of command personnel in the territory of the enemy.
Information operations. Information operations are one of the varieties of special operations that are a relatively new area of activity of American special operations forces aimed at achieving superiority through the dissemination of information or disinformation through influencing people's consciousness, information systems of the enemy and slowing down their decision-making processes, protecting their own information and information systems.
Psychological operations. Psychological operations are a specially planned set of measures aimed at transferring specially selected information to a certain circle of people in order to influence the mind, emotional state and motivation, thereby influencing the behavior of various social groups and individuals. The ultimate goal is to create favorable conditions for the fulfillment of the tasks assigned to the US Armed Forces.
Assistance to foreign countries in ensuring internal security. Conducted in the framework of the US government to provide assistance to foreign countries to strengthen the rule of law and internal security. Special operations forces are involved in organizing the process of creating and training military and paramilitary forces. Implementation of programs to protect society from the overthrow of the government, other subversive and insurgent, guerrilla activities, insurgency and lawlessness. Special operations forces also provide brokers for the development of political, economic, military and social government institutions.
Civil administration operations. These special operations are carried out by special operations forces in countries that have suffered from hostilities or military conflicts. They provide for the creation and maintenance of the work of temporary administrations aimed at solving various problems of the local population. Special attention is paid to protecting the local population and reducing the impact of hostilities on it.
Coalition support. It consists in the fulfillment by the special operations service of the tasks assigned to them as part of the coalition forces during the conduct of multinational military operations. Training coalition partners tactics and methods of warfare. Establishing friendly relations with the local population.
The fight against drug trafficking. MTRs are directly involved in programs to combat illegal drug trafficking, organize and conduct training of foreign special units to combat illicit drug trafficking. They carry out training and are directly involved in conducting operations to identify places of cultivation, production and sale of narcotic substances and preparations.
Search and rescue operations. Conducted with the aim of identifying and returning to their territory missing US soldiers and civilians who fell into the territory of the enemy or in the conflict zone.
Humanitarian assistance is to assist the civilian population in localizing the effects of hostilities and emergency situations of a natural-biological or man-made nature.
Special measures are carried out outside the territory of the United States in order to fulfill tasks of an external political orientation. In special events, the role of the government is not publicly advertised.
Thus, having considered the range of application of the special operations service, it is quite easy to judge about its covert role in the Libyan events. In the future, we will have to observe more than once the use of such schemes. After all, no matter how they talk about "democracy" and "freedom", any interests are always at the forefront. Whether financial or political, and the winners, as we know, are not judged.
- Sergey Voznesensky
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