As this column was being written, the air war against Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi was approaching its third week. Although the war was far from over (and may still be ongoing when this is read), some observations can already be made. The first is how important it is to be clear about objectives before committing military forces. The air operation began after a period of agony for the Libyans, who found that Colonel Gadhafi had no intention of tolerating their peaceful protests. The explicit international cry was to even the odds, giving the protesters (and then the rebels) a fair chance by taking away the colonel’s bullying air force and, to a lesser extent, his ground force.
World Naval Developments: The Libyan Excursion
By Norman Friedman