NATO starts Libyan surveillance, while U.S., UK, France mull no-fly zone
France, Britain, and the United States are drafting a resolution that would create a no-fly zone over Libya.
March 7th, 2011
12:09 PM ET

NATO starts Libyan surveillance, while U.S., UK, France mull no-fly zone

NATO has launched around-the-clock surveillance flights of Libya as it considers various options for dealing with escalating violence in the war-torn country, America's ambassador to the organization told reporters Monday.

Representatives of key Western powers also highlighted the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone in Libya - part of growing campaign to break strongman Moammar Gadhafi's grip on power.

France, Britain, and the United States are working on a draft text that includes language on a no-fly zone over Libya, diplomatic sources at the United Nations said Monday.

The possible resolution will deal with triggers rather than timelines, one diplomat said.  If gross violations of human rights are committed, the diplomat added, the elements could be quickly turned into a resolution.

The text would be subject to a vote by the 15 members of the Security Council.  A Security Council diplomat said they were looking to submit the ideas to the council soon.

Any kind of military intervention in Libya could face sharp criticism from Russia and China who rarely approve of such measures.

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Filed under: France • Libya • United Kingdom • World
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Mary

    Yes Doc , it does seem like were stretching ourselves thin

    March 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimBob

      Within Continental Europe, the Meditterannean, and North Africa (forces part of USEUCOM), there's two numbered air forces (Third and Seventeenth), including the Naval Air Forces of the U.S. Sixth Fleet and possibly the Marine Corps' 2nd Marine Air Wing.

      I'd imagine only a handful of USAFE's airpower is deployed in-support of ISAF operations in Afghanistan, therefore the amount of airpower we could put in place for a no-fly zone operation is very capable.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      My son is going to boot camp in june , joining the NAVY. then going to school and after that will be on active duty , dont know were yet but by the time he does see active duty i hope everything will have calmed down

      March 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • doc

      I agree that we are VERY capable but is it the smartest thing to do at this point? We are likely to be viewed as agitators rather than saviors. Our view of democracy may be very different from someone else's view.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimBob

      Mary, best of luck to your son with his service in the U.S. Navy!

      March 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      @Jimbob, thanks , I guess we'll wait and see

      March 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      I'm really dumb. I have no idea what I'm talking about on any of these blogs. I have to look everything up in Wiki just to sound somewhat smart. I was held back for four years in the second grade till my parents finally made me work the fields and use me as a punching bag. I think it all started one day when I was five and my mom was cleaning my ear with a Q-Tip. I think she accidentally removed my brain from my ear. That is my theory anyway.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimBob

      If you don't mind me asking, what branch of the Navy will he be serving in? Surface Warfare, Submarines, Naval Air Forces, Special Warfare, etc.?

      I'm about to begin my basic training in the coming months as a U.S. Marine, 0311 Rifleman.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      for all you reading that nonsense, it's just some one trying to get attention who has no life. @ FAKE MARY , do us a favor and pull your bottom lip over your head and SWALLOW.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      @ JimBob, he said he is going to be in "Intelligence Gathering" like spying on other countries

      March 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimBob

      Your son must be a smart kid, again, best of luck to him!

      March 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      My son already has lots of medals so I think they might make him a Sargent or someting. He got a medal in boyscouts by rubbing two sticks together and makeing fire. First person ever!! He also erected(ha ha I said erected) a tent and got a big shinny medal for dat too. Maybe he can be the next Furer of Trippoli when he gets older and becomes sargent.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • doc

      Mary, are you really that stupid? Just wondering.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Roald Bentzen

    As the civil war in Libya is almost at the end, the support from a no fly zone is coming far to late. – The youths made it again! Let the youths also finish the job their own way. And, let the youths take the majority of positions in the new secular government, with 50% of female.
    Wow!

    March 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      What makes you think the Civil War is coming to an end? Gadaffi is starting to retake towns and beginning to use his air force to hit indescriminate targets. Even if what you say IS true, the 11th hour of a conflict is when it is the most dangerous. Everyone agrees: Col Gadaffi is NUTS...so why would we allow a crazy person to have an air force to use when he finally realizes he wants to go out in a blaze of glory?

      March 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RHN

    Since Europe is much more dependent on the "sweet" crude that Libya produces, let's have the Europeans take the lead. Perhaps the Arab League would like to handle it since they have stated that Europe and the U.S. should stay out. There is no love lost between the Saudi king and Khadaffi and they sure as heck aren't broke like the U.S.

    March 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jon

    Why would imposing a no-fly zone get us bogged down in another war? We do life-fire exercises in training all of the time. We can just call it "On the job training" for our Pilots. If it's in the air and its not supposed to be...you shoot it down. Seems simple enough to me. So you have to take out some SAM sights...that old Soviet hardware is NO MATCH for our countermeasures. Here is what would happen.

    1. We take out all air defense in Libya.
    2. Gadaffi declares war on all NATO countries involved.
    3. Libyan pilots refuse to fly knowing they don't stand a chance (Remember Iraqi pilots burying their Mig-29s in the sand for future use?)
    4. The Civil War proceeds and Gadaffi loses.
    5. The people of Libya see American flags on the planes that protected them, and american flags on the MRE's they get in aid. It may or may not help relations...but it certainly couldn't hurt.

    March 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • doc

      Jon, Really??? Didn't we try that about a decade ago in Iraq? 2 billion dollars a day later...... Besides, they don't want us there.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      @doc...our goals in Iraq were/are different. A no-fly zone in Iraq was one of many tools we used to achieve our ends. In Libya, our goals are different. If we do not help at this point, it would be like Iraq 1991 all over again. If we HAD helped the uprise in Southern Iraq back in 1991, we wouldn't have had to go back in 2003.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • LWATCDR

      I do not agree.
      We are the boogie man to these people. They will see bombs being dropped from US planes and even if the bombs are from Libyan planes they will be blamed on the US.

      We should support Egypt and Tunisia helping the Libyan people. Provide ELINT, ECM, and AWACS support. Maybe even distract the Libyan Air Force a bit with operations off their coast.
      Any combat over Libya should not by by the US or NATA except Turkey.
      Later we can help with food and even during provide medical support. If the forces involved can get the people out of Libya and to a Hospital or Hospital ship let those be US forces.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • doc

      I don't mean "Don't help the Lybians". I mean that there are better ways of doing it without leavving such a larger U.S. footprint.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Navy Veteran

    Get involved in Lybia, watch your gas prices skyrocket. Watch anti-american militants galvanize agaist us. Watch U.S. casulties mount.

    It's easy for people to say we should become militarily involved with Lybia: when your parents pay your gas and food; you're financially well-off enough not to worry about gas and food prices; and/or it will be someone else (and someone else's kids) going over there to do the fighting.

    I agree with those who say we should stay out entirely. It would be nice to be able to take out another dictator with no consequences. But haven't we learned our lesson with Iraq? Or, is America just too thick-headed?

    March 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • doc

      Here, here!!! As a retired AF member and a parent with an active duty son, I whole-heartedly agree. Most here have no idea what is involved, other than writing the check.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      @Navy Veteran. I disagree. We are better off with Saddam gone. The price we have paid was well worth it. I love it how everyone believes the only ones willing to use our military are the rich whom do not have family in the military. I am a US Marine veteran and will encourage my children to serve. I do care about the price at the pump, as I have to drive 500 miles a week in my daily commute to work. I care about innocent and defenseless lives being saved more; regardless of what color their skin is, what color their flags are, or what language they speak. The definition of integrity is "Doing what is right when no one is watching" (even if it is not appreciated). Our Military are volunteers. It was outlined in black and white what might be expected of them when they signed on the dotted line. I would rather pay $500Billion for a military that saves lives than sit around shooting pool and playing cards in the barracks while tens of thousands die.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • doc

      Jon, Good talking to you. It's always good to speak to someone who has at least thought out why they have come to a certain conclusion. I may not agree but your point is valid. Thanks

      March 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Navy Veteran

      @Jon

      "The price we have paid was well worth it." According to who?? Ask the families of those who died or who are missing limbs if they feel the Iraq war was "well worth it." Well worth it how?? Was it worth the thousands of KIA's, tens of thousands of WIA's, and hundreds of thousdands of psychologically wounded troops? Not to mention the severe damage to our economy, and social unrest and divisions that arose in our country because of that war.

      You say you're an ex-Marine. Ooh-rah. Then you should know that the only thing we ask of our country is not to send us to war unless it is absolutely freak'n necessary; that is, unless we have no other recourse and our country is in danger. And don't pull that "Marine's aren't keen on thinking much" malarky either. You can think alright; it's just that your drill seargent will make you do more push-ups for demonstrating your common sense. The common sense reasoning being: "Don't ever go to war unless you have no other choice."

      And if you're so keen on helping save lives of others in African nations who are victimized, terroized and oppressed, why not invade Rewanda, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Uganda... ? Heck, why only African nations? There are scores of nations world-wide with the same or similar atrociities occuring every day.

      Heck, let's just declare war on all those nations' governments, and replace them all with an American-style government. We all know how great our system works!!

      March 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      @NavyVeteran. Since no one can claim to speak on behalf of everyone, I will claim only to speak on behalf of my family. We feel the price has been worth it, and would pay it all over again. I think it is unfortunate that we only intervene when there is STRATEGIC importance. We never "steal" anyone's oil, nor could we if we wanted to. Our goal is STABILITY in the Middle-East, which is why we get involved in some conflicts and not in others. Why did we pull of Somalia and not look back? Because they were not strategically important (though I bet we are thinking twice about that with all of the pirate attacks that originate from that country). I, for ONE, believe we SHOULD be involved in every poor country where genocide occurs; regardless of its strategic importance. The definition of "involved" may differ from country to country, but as it was once said "The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good [men] to do nothing". I prefer evil not triumph anywhere, whether it be in my back yard, or 10,000 miles away. Disagree with me if you like (I defend your right to do so), but at least I am not a hypocrite and am consistent in my beliefs.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Navy Veteran

      @ Doc

      I'm sorry, but I can't just overlook Jon's naivete on this issue. "Doing what is right when no one is watching"?? "Right" according to who? And, "...no one watching?" The whole world is watching us! The whole world will darn well be watching when we start shooting down Libyan jests and bombing Libyan air bases. Which is all the more reason to exercise REASON and restraint. Everyone's sense of morality isn't the same. Everyone thinks their perceptions and their ideas of right and wrong are the correct ones. Don't they get it?? It's the use of our so-called collective "moral authority" that has gotten us into conflict and wars in the past, and will continue to do so if we don't start THINKING before we act!!

      March 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Thank you,Navy Veteran. That was very well said.

      March 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tat J.

      Well here it is April 25, 2011, and you were right. Gas and food prices through the roof and still rising. And not showing any signs of letting up. And no clear-cut plan on what we ARE doing in Libya, besides wasting money that we don't have. We should have stayed out, that's for sure. Now we wait on what will be done about Syria...Hopefully only sanctions.

      April 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. James

    Dear representatives, I'd like to remind you all that you work for us, the people. We the people do not wish to get involved in another mid east conflict! We are already stuck in two different years-long wars over there with no end in sight. What will it take for you to get the message and stay the hell out of another mess?

    March 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Dear Congress: James does not speak for all of us. Kick the tires and light the fires. Do what is right...not what is popular.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spiro T.Agnew

      Thank you,Jon. If it wasn't for people like you,I would never have been elected Vice President. Thank God for the ignorance of the likes of you!

      March 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Leroy

    Can you all explain to me why we are pushing for a) an overthrow of a government a half a world away, b) a bloody civil war and c) more U.S. troops getting seriously wounded in yet another war of choice? Do we EVER learn anything?

    March 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      It appears not,Leroy. These right-wing thugs in Washington just don't care as long as they make money and gain votes because they care only for themselves!!!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Percy

    I say only if they reinstate the draft, that way everyone has to put some skin in the game (even the chicken hawks) !!

    March 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Yea...cause we can afford a military with 20 million people in it *rolls eyes
      Why does everyone feel sorry for the members of the military? THEY ARE VOLUNTEERS. No one held a gun to their head, or coerced them into signing up.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      That's because they're young and think that war is just fun and games,Jon the way you apperently do!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ali

    Navy veteran,
    Yes iibeleive you should at least it would be for a good cause ,for democracy,liberty>Did Obama preached of democracy when he took office,now that you have people around the world fighting for exactly that he should do his part not just preach but act.

    March 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • RHN

      Ali, Unfortunately, a month after we intervened, these same people that cheered the return of the Pan Am bomber, would be, once again, calling the US the "Great Satan". Better to sit this dance out.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeremy

    Jon – shouldnt you read up a little more? It is not JUST the US pushing for this. You just have chosen to single them out. Go read BBC.com. Same thing, only its Britain talking about going in there and helping. Also, the UN is involved and are concerned with the killing of innocents. Yes, they do hate us.. but by standing by and not lending ANY help, once this is all over, do you think they won't hate us more if we stood by and watched that country get wrecked? The big thing would be to provide Humanitarian support. Also, the flip side is this – if we stand by, Gadafhi wins, and we are stuck dealing with him for God knows how much longer.

    March 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Jeremy. I have a B.A. in Political Science, and an M.P.A. in Public Administration. I was 0311 in Marine Corps Infantry. I have three school age children that may be in the military some day. I do not endorse the use of our military lightly. That said, the UN does not have a military. All they can do is "legitimize" the military actions of countries that participate in the UN. I honestly hope we don't find ourselves in regret six months from now wishing we had been men of action, instead of over at the UN forming committees to see if a commission should be formed to study the situation in order to determine if harsh language should be used in condemnation of Col. G's actions while tens of thousands of his people are slaughtered from the air.

      NATO is a military force. The UN is a bunch of talking heads with no actual power. You use the UN to control world perception. You use NATO to do things that cause perceptions.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. YadaYada1

    Send in the Saudis or the Egyptians. They have plenty of US hardware to put an end to this. The US needs to stand down and stay out of it. Our intervention will only create more hatred of us in the Muslim world. This has been sorely realized by the British that sent in their Special Forces to assist the rebels. The rebels now are holding the British in a military prision.

    March 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nate

    I'm not for or against a no-fly zone policy, with a no-fly zone you have to assume that a plane willy go down in a hostile area for mechanical or AA reasons. What's the plan for that? There have already been serveal special forces members that have been held captive by both sides, granted it may be better for the rebels that we're "helping".

    A better option may be to use SF ODA teams to train rebels in a rear area, equip them, and then send them in. Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, and even Iraq could provide a good base of additional Arab trainers. The ODAs would remain in the rear provided an assistance not actually shooting. Providing a no-fly zone may be a huge risk if a pilot is captured by a dying regime.

    March 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Frank

    You are not the real Mary, you are a lonely troll. Anderson Copper is straight and is married you dumb block head. Now go FK yourself bit*h.

    March 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      I figured that you Tea Partiers would show up sooner or later. I know that you're one of them,judging by your choice of words!!!

      March 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Johnna

    Cnn is just a front for Al Jaherr the terrorist news station, as they tend to censor anything that confronts Islamic terrorism.

    March 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mary

    @Johnna, they do have Al Jaherr's English that is not a terrorist news channel , it is very much like CNN only better i believe

    March 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
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