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  1. On Jamestown What the Tuareg Do After the Fall of Qaddafi Will Determine the Security Future of the Sahel By: Andrew McGregor
    My bold, this is a recipe for trouble, the Sahel is now awash with arms, mercenaries and impoverished migrant labour fleeing the rebel's abuses.
  2. AHOY,

    This is very interesting. The weapons and supplies would be welcomed, however IMO they would not be a game changer but would make for a great reserve i.e. FPF (final protective fire) if a base of theirs was attacked.

    I find it curious, how the U.S. spent so much time recently trying to find a host nation in Africa for its new African command headquarters.

    Now the need appears to be so much greater, and they have one with great ports sweet crude oil and all.

    Note the fallowing is my personal customary (e) signature signing. IKYG stands for " I'll kill you god" its a personal thing. G-day, is just "good day".

    "I well bet my lucky star" IKYG

  3. On The National Interest The Libyan Weapons Lollapalooza by Malou Innocent
    My bold, conservatively it would cost about a million bucks/airframe to install SAM countermeasures. Boxer is a great fan of security theatre, still if anyone waves a liberated Libyan SA-7 at a Jumbo she might get her way. There have been about 40 attacks on civil aviation with SAMs since the mid 70s, about two thirds resulting in crashes.

    We all know what Semtex can do, that Yemini AQAP master bomb maker would surely like some.
  4. On Jamestown Briefs
  5. The cheapest way to counter MANPADS is countermeasures round the airport, not on the aircraft. Airlines hate the idea, not just because carrying extra weight means burning extra fuel, but because of the liability issues of inadvertant operation over populated areas.
  6. THat's a good point, they even optimize the amount of water planes carry to save fuel. I think how this is approached might be more to do with which provider has better lobbyists on The Hill than anything though.

    On plane countermeasures are expensive, the airline industry has pretty narrow profit margins and was pretty resistant even to armoring cockpit doors, a much cheaper option.

    From Homeland Security: Protecting Airliners from Terrorist Missiles (2006)
  7. In the NYRB The Strange Power of Qatar by Hugh Eakin
    Worth reading the rest.
  8. The UN resolution was to protect the civilians being killed by the government using tanks and artillery, now that the rebels are the government and they are using tanks and artillery on Sirte, why isn't the RAF protecting the civilians in Sirte?

    Is it because some of these civilians are fighting back against government forces attacking their city, making them legitimate targets? Isn't that what the rebels were doing in March?

    Sent via Tapatalk
  9. On FP Libya’s Sexual Revolution BY ELLEN KNICKMEYER
  10. Cycle of revenge hangs over Libya's fragile peace | Reuters

    Hope there is a bar where you can put your feet up.
  11. Been in Tripoli the past few days. Bit mental. Apologies in advance for the length of this post.

    Today saw the fourth consecutive day of fighting between the Zawiya tribe, from the city of Zawiya, about 50km west of Tripoli, and the Warshefena, about 10-20km closer to the capital.

    The bone of contention was apparently a small fort, Base 27, so called becuase it's 27km from the capital. It may or may not have belonged to the Khamis Brigade before the fall of the regime.

    Casualty figures- and the actual trigger- remained unclear, so I went off to have a look.

    Got to the Warshefena checkpoint at about 1130 this morning. Lots of technicals mounted with 14.5s there, lots of brass from the Tripoli Brigade wandering about and giving quotes. Maybe 50 or 60 fighters in all.

    What's going on, I asked a commander. Nothing, nothing, there was a bit of a fight between kids from two tribes, but it's all over now [sound of sustained rifle fire in field to the right] Any casualties today? No, no, of course not. Yesterday then? Yesterday fine, nobody killed, this is lies. You're saying no-one was killed yesterday? Of course, everything now fine, inshallah, just young ones causing trouble, firing in air. If you say there is fighting, all of Libya come to make fighting. The road is open...

    And indeed, traffic was flowing through. So on we went.

    To the next checkpoint, a few clicks along. Flagged down, ID checked. Be careful, they said, fighting ahead, at bridge. Lots of crates of 106mm and Grad ammo stacked about, lots of heavy AA pointing towards Zawiya. The traffic had thinned out by now... a plume of black smoke on the horizon.

    We drove towards and under the bridge, past Base 27. Lots of technicals parked outside, a Zilka pointing towards Zawiya. No fighters visible.

    Through olive groves to the next checkpoint. Significantly better kit, all pointing back towards Warshefena. Two T-72s, about 20 6-wheeled Panhards, recoilless rifles... ID checked, we move on to Zawiya. Far more fighters at this end, and more turning up all the time, beeping horns and shouting allah-u-akbar. Checkpoints every 200m or so as we drove into Zawiya. Hundreds of seriously tooled-up men smoking, drinking macchiata and scanning the horizon towards Warshefena.

    We drove to the hospital, and met a consultant neurosurgeon. Is everything quiet today, I asked. Yes, hamdu'llah. Much better than yesterday. How many casualties yesterday? Here? Three dead [Four, butted in another doctor]. Four?, asked the first doctor. Four then, and 25 wounded. On our side. I think on their side between five and nine ten dead, and 45 wounded. But the commanders on the way here said no-one was killed. Who said that, the Warshefena? The NTC, I said, the Tripoli Brigade. They said that? We have four dead here from yesterday, one of them was in my family. What for, I asked, why are you fighting each other? I don't know, he said, none of us know why. They still think in the old way. How can we make a democracy like this? We shoot each other and each side shouts allah-u-akbar.

    The second doctor took me to the ICU. There were six patients there, the others (the doctor said) had been flown to Tripoli or Tunisia. One was clearly in a bad way, his head entirely wrapped in blood-soaked bandages. The doctor didn't rate his chances. The others were manfully coping with (mostly) abdominal gunshot wounds or shrapnel trauma. They'd been hit throughout the evening and night before.

    What were they saying, asked the doctor, on the other side? They said it was just kids, causing trouble. Just kids? They are Gadhafi, the Warshefena. They know how to aim their weapons, how to move. The thuwwar say they captured three, they were not from around here- they were from Bani Walid. You understand? But I cannot prove this, it is what they say. Why is this happening, I asked. I think there are hidden hands working here; they know how to make us fight each other. We all received text messages, saying the intifadha would start on the 11th of the 11th. How else do you explain this, not just here but in the mountains, in Gharyan? There was fighting in Tripoli last night, I told him [about an hour of what sounded like aimed rifle shots- it's hard to explain but they have a different tempo to celebratory gunfire, short bursts of HMG and loud booms, from Abu Salim]. You see, he said.

    On the way back, we stopped at a katiba because I wanted to film the tanks on the road, and take a photo of a guy with a gold-painted AK. The officers told us we could go inside, so we did. Lots of 106s mounted on technicals, thuwwar milling around. As we were waiting to interview an officer, a technical drove in with a crowd of thuwwar standing in the back and shouting. They dragged out an African with blood dripping from his mouth and shoved him into a portacabin. Mercenary, one said. Can we film? No.

    We were taken to a different portacabin where an officer- a lawyer before the war- pulled out a camcorder. From Friday, when we took Base 27, he said. Look. I looked. Dim scenes of men stamping on pictures of Gadhafi, shooting in the air and shouting allah-u-akbar. They still have his picture up on the wall, he said. And the green flag, the ahlam akhdar. They are all Gadhafi, the Warshefena.

    We left, driving back towards Tripoli, and the atmosphere was perceptibly, but only just perceptibly different. Looking back now, the Zawiya had taken up firing positions. Convoys of technicals kept pulling up, and men were unloading long grey crates of Grad ammo.

    We were waved through a checkpoint, and I slowly realised we were the only car on the road. For about 5km. As I was trying to explain the concept of a combat indicator to the driver a burst of rifle fire rang out from about 50m from us, from an olive grove to the right, in our direction. Then another, and another from the other side of the road. Warning shots, I think. The driver drove the car to a crawl onto the verge by an unfinished concrete villa. Terrifyingly, he took off his NTC baseball cap and hid it under his seat. What do we do? Go back? Past that field again, no ****ing way. Bomb it away? That might look suspicious. Drive slowly away? Too much of a target. We bombed it away. After another few long km of empty road we made it to a checkpoint. Slow to a halt, smile widely, say allah-u-akbar. You have come from there, asked the thuwwar, looking horrified. You are safe now. You are with the Warshefena.

    At the next checkpoint, it was chaos. Civilian traffic was being turned back to Tripoli. A hundred or so fighters were crouching behind walls or in alleyways for cover, peering back down the road we'd come from. Technicals were screeching up and men piling out. A shouting crowd of men told us that the Zawiya had fired Grads at them. Why, I asked one. Why?! They are the Zawiya!

    A group of NTC soldiers from Tripoli shoved them away and physically made us stop filming (hand over camera lens and everything, perfect end sequence). And that was that. What was it all about? I have absolutely no ****ing idea. And neither do they.

    Pic: Zawiya tribesman and his glitzy gat, today.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Chivers has this in the NYT At Least Six Are Killed as Libyan Militias Clash on Coastal Highway Near Tripoli covers similar ground to Rumpie, mentions a background of attempts to disarm militias across the country.

    A lot of whispers about foreign hands as is usual in Arab affairs. I read something yesterday about the Qataris having picked certain militia leaders to run the place rather than the NTC, the undemocratic Arab bounders, the NTC are our chaps.

    There's this today on Bloomberg Jibril Turns Against Foreign Powers That Aided Qaddafi Overthrow By Flavia Krause-Jackson and Caroline Alexander
    My bold, the tricky bit begins and this may be as much generational as anything.

    "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."
    Mao Tse-Tung