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chuchoteur
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No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:41 am

Just wondering if anybody had any thoughts on how such a no fly zone may be implemented, as it's looking like the best solution to give the UN the feeling that they've done something about the latest crisis...
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:56 am

Well, the US and UK are talking about doing it, with or without approval from the UN. But, I would think that France and Italy might need to join, too, as they are very close to Libya and could provide basing options, too.
 
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Spacepope
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:03 pm

Is there really any need? We've heard of the SU-22 crash and the defecting Mirage F1s, but reports of widespread use of airpower against civilians simply isn't there. Isolated reports, yes, but really... to protect the main population centers all you'd need to do is park a few aegis destroyers over benghazi and tripoli, and cover them in the SAM umbrella.
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par13del
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:26 pm

So we advocating the US invade and attempt to colonize another middle east nation without UN Approval  
Where is the UN anyway and what exactly are they doing?
Everyone egged on the civilian population to rise up and protest against a tyranical government who sprung up overnight and took responsibility for abusing the population for a number of years, dumb of them, but now that the world has decided that they are tyranical, what exactly are we going to do about all the civilians who are now suffering?

No fly zone is simply political, folks are being killed by boots on the ground, so unless we are going to use the no fly zone to allow the bombing of the military personnel, what purpose will it serve, make us feel like we are doing something I guess.
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oly720man
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:55 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
what exactly are we going to do about all the civilians who are now suffering?

Probably nothing. It's the oil wells that are important.
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bikerthai
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:27 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):


No fly zone is simply political, folks are being killed by boots on the ground,
Quoting oly720man (Reply 4):

Probably nothing. It's the oil wells that are important.

  

Yes, with the bulk of the oil fields and refineries in rebel hands, the biggest threat to them are bombs from the sky.
 

"No fly" is also one layer of protection of any navy ship that may be offered as assistance. I'm thinking in line of an off shore hospital ship that would be of greatest need in the days ahead. Specially if fighting escalates.


bikerthai
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jderden777
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:15 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 5):
I'm thinking in line of an off shore hospital ship that would be of greatest need in the days ahead.

Which is exactly what a US carrier and its strike group can provide, in addition to food, clean water, and shelter. Not to mention the deterrence factor. Just saw this article that mentioned the USS Enterprise leaving pirate-policing duties off Somalia and is heading towards the Suez Canal.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-UK-threaten-Gaddafi-fly-zone.html
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GDB
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:31 pm

If permission given, the RAF could base Typhoons in Malta, (Luqa Field is an ex RAF base), or, with tanker support, from the Sovereign Base Area (Akrotiri) in Cyprus.
One issue, Cameron might find he needs a potent air-force after all.

Question, if a transport is detected coming up from the South, what happens if the pilots/supporting AWACS cannot ascertain if it's full of more mercenaries for Gaddafi or nothing to do with any of this but off course, failed to file a flight plan etc.
 
chuchoteur
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:58 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
Question, if a transport is detected coming up from the South, what happens if the pilots/supporting AWACS cannot ascertain if it's full of more mercenaries for Gaddafi or nothing to do with any of this but off course, failed to file a flight plan etc.

In theory it's then a visual interception (with light signals at night or wing movements during daylight) and a follow me to the nearest allied airfield where it can be checked out, or a "please turn around"...
 
11Bravo
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:00 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
If permission given, the RAF could base Typhoons in Malta


It might be wise for the US and UK to take a back seat on this if a No-Fly course of action is necessary. Perhaps it would be best if Mediterranean powers (France, Spain, Italy) take the lead. IMO, establishing a No-Fly zone at this juncture is not necessary or helpful, and it could be very risky. What happens if a Western aircraft is shot down and we have aircrew that need rescue? What are the consequences if an "innocent" aircraft is shot down by a Western fighter or ship? The Libyan people need to sort this out on their own unless the situation deteriorates significantly.
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bennett123
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:07 pm

Did'nt we have a no fly zone over Iraq at one time.

How much did that acheive.
 
AGM100
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:29 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
Question, if a transport is detected coming up from the South, what happens if the pilots/supporting AWACS cannot ascertain if it's full of more mercenaries for Gaddafi or nothing to do with any of this but off course, failed to file a flight plan etc.



Other recon platforms like global hawk / SAT, and NATO assets would certainly have data on the flight. Most likely with photos of the aircraft prior to departure including the loading and possibly what was loaded . Certainly we would be overflying the air bases and airports ..nothing would move without us knowing it. If it is a rouge aircraft coming into the NFZ ..without a flightplan ..well then its trouble, and a escort visual would be required I am sure.
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Stealthz
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:39 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
Where is the UN anyway and what exactly are they doing?

As always, somewhere else, looking the other way and doing little...

Quoting jderden777 (Reply 6):
USS Enterprise leaving pirate-policing duties off Somalia and is heading towards the Suez Canal.

Not convinced of the pros or cons of a NFZ over Libya but that seems like a more appropriate tasking for the Enterprise battle group. Pirate policing in my opinion is more the realm of large offshore patrol type ships like the RAN Armidale clase... lots of them
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scbriml
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:52 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 12):
As always, somewhere else, looking the other way and doing little...

Somewhat unfair, I feel.   

They've wheeled out their standard response to such situations - "We fear a humanitarian disaster." No shit!   

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
So we advocating the US invade and attempt to colonize another middle east nation without UN Approval

Libya isn't normally considered a part of the Middle East. North Africa or even Greater Middle East, but rarely, if ever, grouped as part of the 'core' ME. But in terms of it being Muslim and Arabic, yes I think that would be seen very negatively in some parts of the World. If however, the ME was to ask for help in securing peace in Libya...
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Mortyman
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:32 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 12):
Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
Where is the UN anyway and what exactly are they doing?

As always, somewhere else, looking the other way and doing little...

What do you expect the UN to do ? The UN is not a military power. It is it's members and possibly NATO and EU that has to act with force. The UN is only as powerful as it's member states.

From what I understand the UN and it's members are currently looking at no fly zones, humanitarian operations, ebargo, freeze of Gadaffis finances etc. Some of these things have already been implemented and more will no doubt follow.

There seeems to be full agreement by the members of the UN that Gadaffi needs to be removed.

A direct military confrontation is no doubt also looked at, but proabably not a first option. What the USA and certain European nations are currently doing is moving equipment into position for any eventuality that might arise. A so called show of force. Neither the USA or any one else are prepared to do a full frontal military raid if they can avoid it.

[Edited 2011-03-01 15:34:20]
 
canoecarrier
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:04 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
No fly zone is simply political, folks are being killed by boots on the ground, so unless we are going to use the no fly zone to allow the bombing of the military personnel, what purpose will it serve, make us feel like we are doing something I guess.


No fly zones are not just a matter of parking a carrier battle group off the shore of Libya and keeping the Libyan Air Force from flying and potentially bombing civilian targets. In order to do that you'd have to neutralize the Libyan military's air defense capability i.e., through bombing surface to air missile installations. So, now you have a US/NATO/UN force bombing targets within Libya. I don't think its that casual of a decision to make.

If the "resistance" requests it, then maybe. At this time, I don't think they have. But, until then having the assets to provide humanitarian assistance in place would be a good start.
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GDB
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:21 am

An opportunity to see the rather recently announced 'Union Of The Mediterranean' to swing into action, an idea of Sarkozy with other founder members including Hosni Mubarek and that bunch recently ejected from Tunisia........maybe not.

Agreed that the need for SEAD, CSAR capabilities in place, means that by default the NFZ already is into potentially air to ground strikes and boots on the ground if a pilot has to be recovered.

So far, the only hostile fire aimed at Western military assets was the single bullet that entered the cockpit of an RAF C-130 on the second rescue mission, it bounced off a crew members helmet (a spent round?)
Fired by the rebels, who apologised since they assumed the C-130 was one of Gaddafi's, what an illustration of the dangers even at that limited level of operations.
 
redflyer
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:20 am

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 9):
It might be wise for the US and UK to take a back seat on this if a No-Fly course of action is necessary.

I agree. I think for once we (US) should sit back and let others deal with this, especially those nations closest to the action.

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 10):
Did'nt we have a no fly zone over Iraq at one time.

How much did that acheive.

It achieved its purpose, which was to keep the skies over northern and southern Iraq free of Saddam's military aircraft. But it certainly didn't achieve any ancillary purposes, such as enabling the removal of Saddam from power (and I don't think it was ever intended to do that).

Quoting scbriml (Reply 13):
If however, the ME was to ask for help in securing peace in Libya...

Most ME countries are not democratic, which is to say they don't represent their people. Just because a ME country would ask for help in securing the peace does not mean it would go over well with the local populace.
A government big enough to take away a constitutionally guaranteed right is a government big enough to take away any guaranteed right. A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything you have.
 
NW747400
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:47 am

Quoting redflyer (Reply 17):
I agree. I think for once we (US) should sit back and let others deal with this, especially those nations closest to the action.

Agreed. I see absolutely no reason that the US should get involved militarily at this point. If other countries (EU) want to try their hand at a military intervention more power to them but I think the US should not get involved unless something changes.
 
silentbob
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:57 am

Quoting NW747400 (Reply 18):
Agreed. I see absolutely no reason that the US should get involved militarily at this point. If other countries (EU) want to try their hand at a military intervention more power to them but I think the US should not get involved unless something changes.

The problem is those countries will then be asking why we didn't do something to prevent the next step of escalation. The US is in a no-win situation, whatever choice the president makes will be "wrong" and result in criticism from within, as well as around the world.
 
GDB
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:10 am

Is this a case of 'Oh dear.....we should do something'?

As outlined here by ace film maker, Adam Curtis;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c19gW_iHCZI&feature=related
 
B737200
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:29 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
If permission given, the RAF could base Typhoons in Malta, (Luqa Field is an ex RAF base), or, with tanker support, from the Sovereign Base Area (Akrotiri) in Cyprus.
One issue, Cameron might find he needs a potent air-force after all.

I wouldn't be too sure on basing anything here. People were moaning when an Italian Frigate came into harbour because of rough seas and started citing our Neutrality. Not saying it can't happen but basing fighters here will make it far more complicated. To bring things into perspective quite a few people were very mad when a B-52 came to one of our airshows, why? Well because it bombed the Vietcong and its evil. When a US warship passed by a while ago people once again started moaning about neutrality.

Now our population is not all like that, but a segment of it likes to get onto the proverbial high horse, sometimes mixing it in with some nice Christian principals and condemn anything remotely military.

Another possible problem is our airports's capacity. Last Tuesday I believe, I went to check on our little microlight aircraft and I noticed that they are parking some larger aircraft on taxiways. I don't know what sort of sortie rate would be required but it may be problematic to keep it up for long when maintenance issues come into play. For example you could easily park a few Typhoons on Park 5 (hopefully they won't blow our little plane away) but where are you going to carry out the maintenance? Lufthansa Tecknik will be good but would they clear the hangar for it? Also what about security, there are a lot of private hangars next around the civilian parks.

These aren't insurmountable issues but it might make some military bases in Sicily easier to use. We've used up quite a bit of the old airbase.
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scbriml
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:22 pm

Quoting redflyer (Reply 17):
Most ME countries are not democratic

Democracy doesn't have much to do with it. While we may elect our politicians, we rarely, if ever, get a say in the decisions they take. I wasn't asked if I supported invading Afghanistan and Iraq.

Quoting redflyer (Reply 17):
Just because a ME country would ask for help in securing the peace does not mean it would go over well with the local populace.

No decision will please everyone. But, if a group of ME rulers requested the help of US/UN/NATO to secure peace in Libya, then at least that would provide a degree of legitimacy that simply "invading" would never have.
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LMP737
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:41 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
If permission given, the RAF could base Typhoons in Malta, (Luqa Field is an ex RAF base), or, with tanker support, from the Sovereign Base Area (Akrotiri) in Cyprus.



If not Malta or Cyprus there's always NAS Sigonella on Sicily. All three would of course require tanker support from the parties involved.

Quoting GDB (Reply 16):
Agreed that the need for SEAD, CSAR capabilities in place, means that by default the NFZ already is into potentially air to ground strikes and boots on the ground if a pilot has to be recovered.



That's where things can quickly spiral out of control from a simple NFZ to a Blackhawk down scenario. An aircraft goes down either from a lucky shot or mechanical and then you have a full on CSAR operation. Will the forces involved be able to tell the difference between Gaddafi loyalists and the opposition? Say an opposition fighter gets gets killed by accident in such an operation, good chance things would get out of control quickly.

What we essentially have now in Libya is a civil war, something we don't really want to get ourselves in the middle of. While those who talk of a NFZ have good intentions the old saying about roads and hell comes to mind.
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canoecarrier
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:19 pm

There's quite a bit of naval activity nearby right now in the Med.

The following ships are off the Libyan coast (or sent to Libya but currently docked in Malta).

HMS Cumberland (F 85)
HMS York (D98)
HNLMS Tromp (F 803)
ITS Francesco Mimbelli (D 561)
ITS San Marco (L 9893)
ITS San Georgio (L 9892)
FS Tourville (D610)
HS Psara (F 454)
FGS Brandenburg (F215)
FGS Rheinland-Pfalz (F209)
FGS Berlin (A1411)
TCG Salihreis (F-246)
TCG Gemlik (F-492)
TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör (A-595)
PLAN Xuzhou (530)
ROKN Choi Young (DDH-981)

Underway:
HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339)
INS Jalashwa (L41)
INS Mysore (D60)
INS Aditya (A59)
USS Ponce (LPD 15)
USS Kearsage (LHD 3) (with 700 marines from the 26th MEU)

USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) (is somewhere in the Mediteranean)
USS Enterprise (CVN-65) (in the Red Sea, but has not been given orders to transit through the Suez Canal yet)

Source: http://www.informationdissemination....et/2011/03/naval-assets-libya.html

There's also a good article about the implementation of a NFZ over Libya here:
http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/libya-no-fly-zone-idea-wont-fly
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Aesma
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:23 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 13):
Libya isn't normally considered a part of the Middle East.

Apparently, some guy named Gates but not linked to Windows thinks otherwise :

[U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert] Gates said: "The UN security council resolution provides no authorisation for the use of armed force; there is no unanimity within NATO for the use of armed force … and we also have to think about, frankly, the use of the US military in another country in the Middle East."

And of course, us French and maybe you British (at least in the past) don't even call Israel or Egypt the Middle East, but the Near East (Proche-Orient). I'm not sure where that puts Libya however.

About the no-fly zone, it looks like Sarkozy is saying one thing and the French military another thing, in the end I don't know what is the official French position.

About the UN, China and Russia are against an intervention, and they have veto power, so this will be up to NATO, or just the US/EU/individual countries.
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NW747400
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:04 am

Quoting silentbob (Reply 19):
The problem is those countries will then be asking why we didn't do something to prevent the next step of escalation. The US is in a no-win situation, whatever choice the president makes will be "wrong" and result in criticism from within, as well as around the world.

We shouldn't do anything to prevent "the next step of escalation." Libya is for all intents and purposes in a civil war. As I see it the U.S. does not have a dog in the fight. This is strictly a Libyan matter (unless something changes) and we should stay out of it. I see no reason to spend more money we don't have and put lives at risk to intervene in something that does not involve us.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 23):
What we essentially have now in Libya is a civil war, something we don't really want to get ourselves in the middle of. While those who talk of a NFZ have good intentions the old saying about roads and hell comes to mind.

            Exactly

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wvsuperhornet
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:51 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
So we advocating the US invade and attempt to colonize another middle east nation without UN Approval
Where is the UN anyway and what exactly are they doing?
Everyone egged on the civilian population to rise up and protest against a tyranical government who sprung up overnight and took responsibility for abusing the population for a number of years, dumb of them, but now that the world has decided that they are tyranical, what exactly are we going to do about all the civilians who are now suffering?

Really? what middle eastern countries has the US colonized, I am a US citizen and I am not aware of any. For thr record the US other than on weapons of mass destruction has never given Gadhafi a pass on anything.

Quoting NW747400 (Reply 18):
Agreed. I see absolutely no reason that the US should get involved militarily at this point. If other countries (EU) want to try their hand at a military intervention more power to them but I think the US should not get involved unless something changes.

I agree but the EU countries would not be as capable as the US in providing constant air coverage over lybia its a large country and will take a few aircraft along with logistical support to due the mission. Unfortunatly if a no fly zone is ordered the US will have to get involved at some point.
 
Quokka
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:58 am

In contrast to earlier calls by opposition members, a representative of the Libyan National Council set up by opponents of Gaddafi is calling for the imposition of a NFZ according to ABC News:

Quote:

Ahmed Jabreel, an aide to ex-justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil who heads the council based in Benghazi, said international air strikes to set up a no-fly zone were needed to help rebels topple Mr Gaddafi, who has refused to step down despite a revolt.

Asked about Brega, Mr Jabreel said: "On the ground, people are in control. We are saying we need air strikes to impose a no-fly zone in Libya. With this, people will be able to defeat Gaddafi for sure."
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/04/3155699.htm

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 27):
I agree but the EU countries would not be as capable as the US in providing constant air coverage over Libya its a large country and will take a few aircraft along with logistical support to due the mission. Unfortunately if a no fly zone is ordered the US will have to get involved at some point.


While it is true that Libya is a big country, most of the population is centred on a narrow strip along the northern coast so the actual area of operations might (I say might) be limited. There also remains the factor that if the regime is losing support, would the Libyan air force, showing some signs of weakness already, be prepared to stand up to concerted superior fire power?

I agree that it would be difficult for the US not to be drawn in if the EU were to decide on collective action as many, if not all, members are also members of NATO. Some members might be more enthusiastic than others given the extent of their investments. Those with fewer investments might not be so keen.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:13 pm

the BBC website today mentioned that several hundred Touareg tribesmen from Mali have come to Libya to fight as mercenaries for Ghadaffi. They most likely came through the desert either on trucks or by camel.

Jan
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par13del
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:52 pm

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 27):
Really? what middle eastern countries has the US colonized, I am a US citizen and I am not aware of any. For thr record the US other than on weapons of mass destruction has never given Gadhafi a pass on anything.

Sarcasm, note the smiley in the post.
The US has been accused of such by various folks by maintaining military bases in the middle east, far as I know you also have bases in Europe but no Europeans believes they are US colonies but that's for another thread.

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 27):
I agree but the EU countries would not be as capable as the US in providing constant air coverage over lybia its a large country and will take a few aircraft along with logistical support to due the mission. Unfortunatly if a no fly zone is ordered the US will have to get involved at some point.

Case in point, they may not be as capable but their populous are also some of the prime folks complaining of the US being the world police man and big bully, tough being an American aint it, damn if you do damn if you dont. I think that's why to some degree Americans really don't care too much about the opinion's of other's when they believe that something is right or wrong, waters get real muddy in international relations.

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 14):
What do you expect the UN to do ? The UN is not a military power. It is it's members and possibly NATO and EU that has to act with force. The UN is only as powerful as it's member states.

Pontification, if my memory is accurate, they actually approved the bombing in the Kosovo campaign after the fact, but railed on the Iraqi front an elsewhere that nothing should happen until approved by the UN.
The UN is meant to prevent such issues, it is supposed to be a club where leaders can negotiate to prevent mass tragedies, do they know they are also being used as a stall tactic while damage is done, yes, what are they doing about that?

Where was the UN when the civil disobedience was commencing, does anyone actually believe that this was not going to happen, can we really compare Libya to Egypt in the way the governments were run, did anyone believe that the Libyan leader would just up and leave his own country or submit himself for trial, which world are we living in?
 
oly720man
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:12 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 29):
the BBC website today mentioned that several hundred Touareg tribesmen from Mali have come to Libya to fight as mercenaries for Ghadaffi. They most likely came through the desert either on trucks or by camel.


And others are, seemingly, just being conned into fighting somebody else's civil war or die if they refuse

"A man at the bus station in Sabha offered me a job and said I would get a free flight to Tripoli," said Mohammed, a boy of about 16 who said he had arrived looking for work in the southern Libyan town only two weeks ago from Chad, where he had earned a living as a shepherd.

Instead of Tripoli, he was flown to an airport near the scruffy seaside town of Al-Bayda and had a gun thrust into his hands on the plane.

Gaddafi's commanders told the ragbag army they had rounded up that rebels had taken over the eastern towns. The colonel would reward them if they killed protesters. If they refused, they would be shot themselves. The result was bloody mayhem.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...ya-nervously-await-their-fate.html
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MD11Engineer
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:38 pm

Quoting oly720man (Reply 31):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 29):
the BBC website today mentioned that several hundred Touareg tribesmen from Mali have come to Libya to fight as mercenaries for Ghadaffi. They most likely came through the desert either on trucks or by camel.


And others are, seemingly, just being conned into fighting somebody else's civil war or die if they refuse

If one follows the commebts on the BBC website (letters to the editor), there also seem to be a lot of subsharan Africans who see Gadhaffi as the most generous person they ever met (he spent loads of his oil revenue to finance reberl movements all over the continent) and for them all the uprisings in the Northern African countries are just the work of MI6 and the CIA.
See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12585395

Concerning the Tuareg, here is more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12647115


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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:49 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 32):
there also seem to be a lot of subsharan Africans who see Gadhaffi as the most generous person they ever met

That may in fact be true . . .

This brings me to think about another group of "mercenaries" who have a more illustrious history: The Gurkhas.

Alas the Tuaregs may have allied with the wrong side of history.

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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:46 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 15):

No fly zones are not just a matter of parking a carrier battle group off the shore of Libya and keeping the Libyan Air Force from flying and potentially bombing civilian targets. In order to do that you'd have to neutralize the Libyan military's air defense capability i.e., through bombing surface to air missile installations. So, now you have a US/NATO/UN force bombing targets within Libya. I don't think its that casual of a decision to make.

If the "resistance" requests it, then maybe. At this time, I don't think they have. But, until then having the assets to provide humanitarian assistance in place would be a good start.
Quoting LMP737 (Reply 23):
What we essentially have now in Libya is a civil war, something we don't really want to get ourselves in the middle of. While those who talk of a NFZ have good intentions the old saying about roads and hell comes to mind.

Wise words.

(1) Imposing a no-fly zone is basically an act of war. It would require attacking the enemy air defense systems and probably also civil radar systems. Additionally, we might need some less remote places than aircraft carriersor Malta to base helicopters so they can quickly pick up downed airmen.

(2) We would be at war with just another islamic country and thus increase the likelihood of corresponding terrorist attacks. At the same time it would probably make negotiations with Iran even more difficult.

(3) Any violent engagement triggers the question how long we are willing to keep the engagement running - especially if Gaddafi prevails against the rebels. Are we willing to continue fighting him if his ground forces prevail, are we going to escalate the war, or do we just "fade away"? If it is going to be the latter option: what are we going to do to rescue imprisoned airmen? Can we afford going to war and risk losing, and are we willing to tell our captured pilots that there are worse things than Libyan torture prisons - such as North Korean torture prisons?

(4) A no-fly zone over Libya would foster rumors prevalent in the area claiming the west was behind the unrests which would further increase the risk of terrorist attacks and probably strenghten Iran's position as well.
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:31 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 34):
(1) Imposing a no-fly zone is basically an act of war. It would require attacking the enemy air defense systems and probably also civil radar systems. Additionally, we might need some less remote places than aircraft carriersor Malta to base helicopters so they can quickly pick up downed airmen.

True. If we were to attack Libya I think it would be wise to use a largely unmanned approach (if not the whole time at least until we are sure their air defenses were decimated). I think predator drones or tomahawk cruise missiles would do the job nicely.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 34):
(2) We would be at war with just another islamic country and thus increase the likelihood of corresponding terrorist attacks. At the same time it would probably make negotiations with Iran even more difficult.

Honestly as far as the U.S. is concerned I don't really know that we would actually increase the likelihood of a terrorist attack. I think that almost all middle eastern terrorist organizations with any reach at all would attack the U.S. in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 34):
(3) Any violent engagement triggers the question how long we are willing to keep the engagement running - especially if Gaddafi prevails against the rebels. Are we willing to continue fighting him if his ground forces prevail, are we going to escalate the war, or do we just "fade away"? If it is going to be the latter option: what are we going to do to rescue imprisoned airmen? Can we afford going to war and risk losing, and are we willing to tell our captured pilots that there are worse things than Libyan torture prisons - such as North Korean torture prisons?

I agree with the premise. However just thinking out loud (not saying this will happen) if the U.S. got involved in Libya could we not just use our air dominance to get the job done. I've often wondered why we don't take advantage of our air superiority more than we do. Although I will give Obama credit we seem to be doing so with increasing efficacy in Pakistan. If for instance we saw something in middle eastern country X that we thought warranted military intervention. Why not decimate the air defenses with cruise missiles and unmanned UAVs. Then we could mount an uncontested air campaign to achieve our purposes. When I talk about country X I am not suggesting any nation that we could not handily beat in a conventional war; I'm just thinking out loud of ways to make those types of wars "cleaner" for our side.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 34):
(4) A no-fly zone over Libya would foster rumors prevalent in the area claiming the west was behind the unrests which would further increase the risk of terrorist attacks and probably strenghten Iran's position as well.

Agreed. It's their civil war let them sort it out. We have had nothing to do with it up to this point and I would prefer to keep it that way.
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:57 am

What would be the purpose of a no fly zone?

1) Prevent Libyan air force attack
2) Prevent reinforcement of by air.

I would suggest for the former, we should arm the rebellion with shoulder fired missiles. It would be cheaper than executing a no-fly zone and as shown by the Soviet Afghanistan experience, very effective. It wouldn't take too many missiles, the Libyan Air Force don't have too many airplanes and helicopters.

Besides, it seems the Libyan Air Force is doing a good job of not hitting their targets. I salute the pilots knowing that their families lives are at stake.

As for the latter, anyone in logistics will know, even if you are a major power, maintaining a war using only an air bridge is very difficult . . . if not impossible.

With the latest development in Ras Lanuf, i think he rebel can do without air support. I will theorize that Qaddafi's tank is no use to him in the dessert. The fight seems to be of quick movements and those tanks are either deployed in the city to suppress the population or dug in as fixed guns. In side the city the tanks are of little use unless they can move like the Abrams in Baghdad.

The most the west can do right now is to supply the population with lots of medical aid, they will need it.

Throw in a few of dozen Stingers, and you can have your virtual no-fly zone. And the RPG will do fine against the tanks in side Tripoli.

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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:57 am

What could be done though, provided that the rebels get their act together and elect an official provisional government and administration for their zone, is that the Western countries provide material and economic support for it.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 36):
I will theorize that Qaddafi's tank is no use to him in the dessert. The fight seems to be of quick movements and those tanks are either deployed in the city to suppress the population or dug in as fixed guns. In side the city the tanks are of little use unless they can move like the Abrams in Baghdad.

Eastern Libya was the battleground of the massive tank battles between the Afrika Korps and the British 8th Army.

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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:17 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 37):
massive tank battles between the Afrika Korps and the British 8th Army.

I don't disagree, but where as Rommel effectively utilize the mobility of the tanks, Montgomery used the tanks as a battering ram or gun platform to support his infantry and only manage to defeat Rommel though shear weight and logistics.
(in my opinion)

I don't see Qaddafi using his tank like Rommel. And though he may have weight in tank numbers, I would venture to guess the "Free Libyan Force" will have weight in infantry which would be more effective in urban combat.

So in additional to the Stingers, perhaps some guided AT weapons as well in case Qaddafi decide to send his tanks into the desert.

As Lawrence, Rommel, and Schwarzkopf have shown, desert fighting is best done with fast mobile forces. Those Qaddafi tanks don't seem to be too fast nor too mobile  

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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:51 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 30):
Case in point, they may not be as capable but their populous are also some of the prime folks complaining of the US being the world police man and big bully, tough being an American aint it, damn if you do damn if you dont. I think that's why to some degree Americans really don't care too much about the opinion's of other's when they believe that something is right or wrong, waters get real muddy in international relations.

I think your wrong on this point the world may think we are bullies and act like the world policemen but who is going to police the world if the US doesnt do it. Dont get me wrong I am in no way promoting that we get involved in a third war we are already fighting 2 and our economy is bad enough as is. But it is what it is I am not knocking any european militaries but defenses are going to have to be knocked out before a no fly zone can be enforced and the last time I checked there arent any stealth aircraft in the european inventory. While Lybia probably doesnt have the most advanced air defenses they are still capable anyone who thinks they can go in and enforce a no fly zone without taking them out is a fool. I doubt many or any european leaders would be that cavalier with their pilots or at least I hope not. As far as it being tough to be american sure, but again it is what it is I think most of us have learned to live with it.
 
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:15 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 38):
So in additional to the Stingers, perhaps some guided AT weapons as well in case Qaddafi decide to send his tanks into the desert.

Why stingers? The rebels have already been observed using SA-7s that were captured from army stocks. Guided AT weapons have no use if the operators are not trained. The rebels could do plenty of damage to tanks using B-11 RRs that they already have. Didn't Libya also have Vigilant and Milan ATGMs already?

EDIT:

Article on Libyan MANPADS http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs...=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

[Edited 2011-03-05 07:56:23]
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:57 pm

Quoting NW747400 (Reply 35):
Agreed. It's their civil war let them sort it out. We have had nothing to do with it up to this point and I would prefer to keep it that way.

While in most circumstances, I would agree with you, I've lived long enough to remember Qaddafi's state-sponsored terrorism against the US and his alliances with totalitarian states. There is no question about the valor of the Libyan resistance against Qaddafi's better organized and better equipped forces and it reminds me of our own revolution. I think the Libyans need to write their story their own way, but I do not think it would be consistent with our beliefs to see them fail. I would consider assistance if the resistance asked, just as the French (for their understandable reasons) aided us. In any case, the statements of us and our allies to date have already eliminated any chance of a normal relationship with Gaddafi if he holds on. He will turn to the totalitarian superpower du jour for aid, just as he has in the past. Don't be surprised if Gaddafi is getting reinforcements and arms shipments to aid his cause on the quiet from some of the other totalitarian states and even from religious extremist groups, in exchange for money and favors.

Values aside, like it or not, we're committed diplomatically, and if the resistance loses, we lose for sure in multiple ways. We can dither like the Western powers did during the Spanish Civil War during the dreamy delusion of the pre-WWII period, or we or our allies can quietly provide aid to the rebels, if they ask for it, though I prefer not to get directly involved--Libyan heroism is the heroism that should be in the history books.

I do agree with you insofar as I prefer our allies do provide aid rather than us, as what happens in Libya may more directly affect their countries, and we already have too much unnecessary recent history in the region. However, I do think we lose if Gaddafi wins and we should not accept that outcome casually.

History has shown that in spite of various spats we've had, we've fared far better in international relations with democracies than totalitarian states, so I am sympathetic to the Libyan rebels and prefer they succeed with good will toward us.

regards,

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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:31 pm

Just saw on the national news a Libyan fighter (or ground attack plane, couldn't tell, I'll watch my recording frame by frame) shot down with a good old flak manned by an untrained old guy ! Both pilots went down with it (corpses shown in the video of the crash site), one Libyan and one Syrian national. I'm guessing that the Libyan AF must have quite the bad training and equipment ! They were flying low over the rebels, as a show of force I guess, well, it didn't pan out as planned.
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:46 pm

Quoting odysseus9001 (Reply 41):
While in most circumstances, I would agree with you, I've lived long enough to remember Qaddafi's state-sponsored terrorism against the US and his alliances with totalitarian states. There is no question about the valor of the Libyan resistance against Qaddafi's better organized and better equipped forces and it reminds me of our own revolution. I think the Libyans need to write their story their own way, but I do not think it would be consistent with our beliefs to see them fail. I would consider assistance if the resistance asked, just as the French (for their understandable reasons) aided us. In any case, the statements of us and our allies to date have already eliminated any chance of a normal relationship with Gaddafi if he holds on. He will turn to the totalitarian superpower du jour for aid, just as he has in the past. Don't be surprised if Gaddafi is getting reinforcements and arms shipments to aid his cause on the quiet from some of the other totalitarian states and even from religious extremist groups, in exchange for money and favors.

Values aside, like it or not, we're committed diplomatically, and if the resistance loses, we lose for sure in multiple ways. We can dither like the Western powers did during the Spanish Civil War during the dreamy delusion of the pre-WWII period, or we or our allies can quietly provide aid to the rebels, if they ask for it, though I prefer not to get directly involved--Libyan heroism is the heroism that should be in the history books.

I do agree with you insofar as I prefer our allies do provide aid rather than us, as what happens in Libya may more directly affect their countries, and we already have too much unnecessary recent history in the region. However, I do think we lose if Gaddafi wins and we should not accept that outcome casually.

History has shown that in spite of various spats we've had, we've fared far better in international relations with democracies than totalitarian states, so I am sympathetic to the Libyan rebels and prefer they succeed with good will toward us.

That is a well thought out post and I agree with you on many points. First, before offering any aid to the Libyan fighters I would like to know more about who they are and what they plan to do if they win. I think we would be remiss to forget the lessons we learned giving aid to taliban fighters in Afghanistan when they were fighting the soviets. That was a harsh way to learn that the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. I would want to know exactly who these fighters are and what they plan to do. Are they going to change Libya or is it going to be the same old song and dance with a new face.

Second, if we did know something about the resistance and thought they were worthy of aid I would have no problem giving them supplies (hopefully our allies would also help so that the financial cost did not fall squarely on one country). I would be fine with giving them the supplies they need to bring down Gaddafi but I still think we should not be directly involved militarily unless something changes. It is not that I like Gaddafi or that I would like to see him stay in power, I just don't think we should spend the money on another costly military campaign and further strain our armed services.

I definitely would like to see Gaddafi toppled. He is a known sponsor of terror and a dictator (and he's also a few bricks short of a load), but I think it would be better for everyone involved if the Libyans did it themselves.

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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:04 pm

Already reported as a Su-24 apparently.

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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:35 am

Quoting scbriml (Reply 22):
Democracy doesn't have much to do with it. While we may elect our politicians, we rarely, if ever, get a say in the decisions they take. I wasn't asked if I supported invading Afghanistan and Iraq.

No country would ever get anything done if it was a direct democracy where everyone gets to vote on every issue. That's why we have representative democracies. Then again, in a direct democracy you would still have people complaining that they voted against something and it happened anyway.
 
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:18 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 40):

Why stingers? The rebels have already been observed using SA-7s that were captured from army stocks.

Stingers only because that is what we have in inventory. If SA-7 are readily available and are a cheaper solution, then go for it. Although, I don't think you will argue that the Stingers would be more effective, with our without training.

The quantity of captured stock may be limited, to be effective you will need significant numbers at each installation be protected along with many teams at each rally point as well as the front line.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 42):
Just saw on the national news a Libyan fighter (or ground attack plane, couldn't tell, I'll watch my recording frame by frame) shot down with a good old flak manned by an untrained old guy

I did it all the time in Battlefield  Those were not jet fighters though 
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 40):
The rebels could do plenty of damage to tanks using B-11 RRs that they already have.

The B-11 RR may be effective in close quarters and in defensive position. But out in the open desert, guided AT would have better range (more importantly more range and accuracy than the tank). As the US Army found out, when fighting a tanks in open country, a tank destroyer is no match and would require a very brave crew.

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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:10 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 46):
The B-11 RR may be effective in close quarters and in defensive position. But out in the open desert, guided AT would have better range (more importantly more range and accuracy than the tank). As the US Army found out, when fighting a tanks in open country, a tank destroyer is no match and would require a very brave crew.

The problem is that Milan, Vigilant and Malutka (all in Lybia) take a trained operator to hit anything, where the B-11 just needs you to hit the target witht he spotting rifle first.

In any case, I don't even think it's settle that we should be supporting the rebel side in the first place. Kinda like supporting the rebels during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Didn't turn out too well for us in the long run.
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:02 pm

Quoting NW747400 (Reply 35):
However just thinking out loud (not saying this will happen) if the U.S. got involved in Libya could we not just use our air dominance to get the job done. I've often wondered why we don't take advantage of our air superiority more than we do.

Air Power to get which job done, it takes boots on the ground to hold territory, assist civilians, and a host of other things which cannot be done from the air. If the enemy puts his forces in civilian clothes and vehicles exactly how will the a/c know to target those vehicles? If they have no intel from the ground, once those forces are in among the civilian population, there is no surgical strike to take them out that will not also harm the very people you are there to protect.
Such is already known by most insurgents / freedom fighters and uniform armies, hence once the going gets tough, uniforms are the first items discarded.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 34):
(3) Any violent engagement triggers the question how long we are willing to keep the engagement running - especially if Gaddafi prevails against the rebels. Are we willing to continue fighting him if his ground forces prevail, are we going to escalate the war, or do we just "fade away"?

Excellent question, I think the answer depends on who is leading the western charge, Europeans or Americans.
Europeans would ensure that if it looks like Gaddafi is going to win, some diplomatic contact will be made to provide cover when the world welcomes him back as the leader of his country.
Americans would probably do all they can to ensure that they do not loose probably arming the rebels and putting in some Special Forces similar to the initial Afghanistan campaign, however, since this is a joint operation, by the time that happens, the rift similar to Iraq II would first have to take place.
 
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RE: No Fly Zone Over Libya?

Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:52 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 47):
Kinda like supporting the rebels during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Didn't turn out too well for us in the long run.

Actually, this statement may be debatable. Would you rather still deal with the former USSR or with the Al Qaeda? Some say that the fight in Afghanistan was the start of the USSR downfall. If this is true, then I would take it any day.
Besides, some would say that the arming of the Afghan resistance wasn't the mistake. It was the disengagement after the Russian pulled out that allowed Al Qaeda to take hold.


Quoting Spacepope (Reply 47):
The problem is that Milan, Vigilant and Malutka (all in Lybia) take a trained operator to hit anything, where the B-11 just needs you to hit the target witht he spotting rifle first.

Now, there's the rub. With a spotting rifle, you not only need to be trained, but very skilled before you an hit anything greater than 300 meters I would think. (Although a tank may be a big enough target). I would think a B-11 do worst if you have to figure in cross wind.

But the B-11 has an advantage of being a is a fire-and-forget weapon  
Quoting par13del (Reply 48):
Americans would probably do all they can to ensure that they do not loose probably arming the rebels and putting in some Special Forces similar to the initial Afghanistan campaign,

Are you talking about the 1980's or the 2000's campaign?

A more apt comparison would probably the arming of the Contras under the Reagan administration. The Contras was both a political organization as well as a rebel military force. For better or for worse, I wonder if Reagan would have been more decisive in this situation.

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