Warfare in Libya has come to dead-end in fact: in spite of NATO bombings rebels happened to be unable to resist the Libyan troops. Aviation attacks at Gaddafi’s residence and the fact that British Minister of Defense defined Libyan leader himself as a «legit target» for bombings prove that coalition is going to physically destroy Colonel and thus, end the war. That’s when we have to recall the repeated U.S. statements about possibility of covert operation against «tyrant» that the CIA has been planning.
Coalition sent its military aides to Libya but still cannot resolve the issue of weapon supplies. It seems that allies still have doubts about whom they should supply with weapons: NATO commanders have repeatedly emphasized that terrorists from Al-Qaeda and other international extremist organization fight at the side of opposition. Yet the degree of their influence upon opposition in general remains unclear.
The most striking thing about NATO operation in Libya is that it was obvious from the very beginning: firstly, only couple of names from the «oppositional government» was well-known; secondly, strength of rebels was apparently too great to be just a local home guard. Yes, it’s quite possible that initially the backbone of Eastern-Libyan troops was made of the split-off military. But why did no one assume that pan-Muslim terrorists might have meddled into the war as well?
For quite a time Gaddafi was considered to be a «friend of all terrorists». Yet, since 2003 he was actively approaching the West, severing his «underground» contacts. State system «under Gaddafi’s authority» excluded the opportunity of Libyan development as a theocratic state, which is a goal of Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and their like. Dictator has repeatedly emphasized that terrorist organizations have risen against him.
And now, when the West, embodied by NATO, got involved into process of removing Gaddafi from power — coalition fetched itself in a tricky situation. Resolution №1973 allows applying «all the means necessary» to protect the civilian population — yet it is the rebels themselves, who have repeatedly become targets of NATO bombs. Count of victims exceeded several dozen.
Thirdly, it is unclear what will come out of supporting Libyan opposition. Under pressure of NATO they will, of course, announce that there are no terrorists among them. But how will the situation actually turn out? Who might guarantee that after enthroning, new authorities won’t «suddenly turn to the right»?
«Semi-Cambodian» option doesn’t seem that fantastic today: division of the country and literal enthroning of the former monarchic dynasty. Yet, even after Gaddafi’s leave it will be his supporters who continue ruling the west of the country. That’s what happened to Pol Pot’s Cambodian regime 30 years ago. Yet — given the acuteness of situation — it would be hardly possible to keep the state integrity. As the CEO of «Expert» magazine Alexander Privalov noted, today’s Libya is a Gaddafi’s creation. Without him the entire system will collapse. And at least two more states — Tripolitania and Cyrenaica — may emerge at the Northern African map. There might be three of them, as well if Tuaregs, controlling the Sahel trade routes and still remaining loyal to Gaddafi, will decide to try themselves in the statecraft.
We shan’t forget that during the second half of the 20th century even Egypt has put certain claims for controlling Libyan policy (when Gaddafi was no more than a green dictator). Today, after revolution in Egypt itself, its new authorities may try to improve its influence over Maghreb at the account of split of their neighbor. It is unclear who will benefit from that, but politics is not always logical.
Here’s yet another issue — who will secure Europe from the inflow of refugees? Europe itself is incapable of that. Another ground operation would be unfavorable for America and it will seek every possible opportunity to avoid this burden — especially given the forthcoming Presidential campaign of 2012. Will the League of Arabian States and Organization of Islam Conference take responsibility for the country? No way. That’s not their war and although they’ve supported NATO before the operation, they have neither mechanisms, nor means to fight it.
The only logical conclusion that any sane person might have come to is that we’re in desperate need of a compromising person, who will keep the nominal integrity of Libya. For now, however, West disposes no such figures and that makes Libyan operation destined to political failure — no matter what will be the military outcome of it.
Let’s assume that NATO will make its mind for the ground operation, alliance troops will take Tripoli and bring the rebels from Benghazi there. What’s next? Will the Tripolitania citizens recognize the authority of Cyrenaica expatriates, who would gain a foothold in Libyan capitals with the help of alien bayonets?
The most probable Libyan scenario in case of ground operation and probable elimination of Gaddafi is the guerilla war, which his adherents will wage against the new authorities and NATO occupation forces. Then Al-Qaida militants will be quick enough to open the «second front» — they will fight against both NATO troops and supporters of the previous regime. The Hobbism is coming and Libya might turn not just into Iraq, but rather into «Iraq squared» in the direct proximity to Euro-Union borders. If this comes true, NATO victory would not just be a pyrrhic victory — it would be much worse that any political defeat.