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April 01, 2011

Libyan Rebels May Or May Not Be Jihadist, But, On the Plus Side, They're Also Incompetent

The Spanish are good at many things, George Orwell wrote, but war wasn't among them.

So too the Libyans. Qadaffy apparently was smart enough to be on the look-out for a coup and so didn't train many of his people in military skills.

They're just not soldiers. That's understandable -- most of them weren't fighters until a few weeks ago.

But with no military discipline at all, how can they possibly win?

For many rebel fighters, the absence of competent military leadership and a tendency to flee at the first shot have contributed to sagging morale....

"Kadafi is too strong for us, with too many heavy weapons. What can we do except fall back to protect ourselves?" said Salah Chaiky, 41, a businessman, who said he fired his assault rifle while fleeing Port Brega even though he was too far away to possibly hit the enemy.

...

They say orders are never issued, except by fellow fighters, and that those are routinely ignored. Kadafi family members who control Libya's cellphone network have cut most cell communications in the rebel-held east, leaving each gun truck to fight on its own.

...

Several fighters said they were now being charged one Libyan dinar (about 80 cents) per bullet because rebels had wasted thousands of precious rounds firing wildly into the air. During the panicked retreat from the desert hamlet of Bin Jawwad on Tuesday, many fighters fired randomly as they fled, sometimes just over the heads of fellow rebels.

A lot of kids (15 years old, around) have come to the front, thinking it's some kind of Rambo movie. They don't bring weapons with them, though.

So, do what? Train them? That could take a year (and a year would be rush job, at that). And who's going to pay for all that? Are US personnel going to be doing that?

And what happens in the meantime? And does anyone think Obama has the resolve for a year long mission in Libya?

Are we really going to fly interdiction missions in Libya for that whole year?


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posted by Ace at 04:44 PM

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