llies Intensify Air Attacks on Qaddafi
The United States and its allies stepped up air attacks on forces loyal to Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi (WSJ), preventing anti-regime rebels from being overrun in the short term. Jets and missiles from coalition militaries struck Libyan targets over the weekend, including air defenses and armored units heading to attack the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. Allied spokesman U.S. Vice Admiral Gortney said the coalition acting against Qaddafi, which originally included Britain, France, Italy, Canada, and the United States, had broadened to include Belgium and Qatar (al-Jazeera). The United States, UK, and France are continuing strikes pursuant to the UN Security Council authorization (BBC) to protect Libyan civilians from government forces, including a no-fly zone. U.S. officials say Qaddafi himself is not a target, however a missile strike has apparently destroyed one of his command centers in Tripoli.
Emboldened rebel fighters tried to retake the strategically important town of Ajdabiya, but were repelled by armored pro-Qaddafi forces. Coalition forces said they were continuing operations despite the Libyan announcement on Sunday night of a second ceasefire (NYT). British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Qaddafi would be judged by his actions, not his words. Oil prices (FT) increased sharply on Monday as traders feared the conflict will keep Libya's oil from the market.
With the United States now militarily engaged in Libya and U.S. allies seemingly at odds over goals, it is imperative that President Obama more clearly define the nation's objectives and the means to achieve them, says CFR's Robert Danin.
In this article for ForeignPolicy.com, Josh Rogin examines how Obama made the sudden decision to engage militarily in Libya.
This UN Security Council resolution regarding Libya was passed on March 17, 2011.
This interactive map from the New York Times highlights how the rebellion is unfolding across Libya in a day-to-day breakdown.
In this video from CNN, security analyst Peter Bergen discusses why Libya is not Iraq in 2003.