NATO’s new mess

Tactics of warfare and regret are in use over Libya. The NATO seems to be in a fix as it deeply gets involved in the North African country while implementing the United Nations-mandated no-fly zone. Reports of ‘friendly fire’ and the jargon of ‘collateral damage’ are now excessively being used, which indicates that the coalition is stepping into a quagmire that might engulf it in times to come. With fighting raging on the ground and no end in sight to the defiant Muammar Gaddafi regime, the scenario presents another Afghanistan in the making. The imperfection with which allies are targeting sensitive installations in Libya, resulting in civilian casualties, paints a horrible picture of a full-fledged war.

The rebels who were more than anxious in calling for an increase in air strikes seem to have been battered down and lost hope to a great extent, as a set of miscalculations over Brega, Ajdabiya and Misrata have come quite toiling.

Notwithstanding, the headway that the allies, especially Britain and France, would have made in making inroads over Libyan airspace, the mandate is far from accomplished. Though Libyan air force is grounded, the intention of saving the civilians from pro-Gaddafi forces is up in thin air. Irrespective of the fact that Resolution 1973 talked about all exclusive measure to protect the unarmed population, no strategy is working to their benefit. This brinkmanship is a telling tale of mutually assured destruction. The absence of political approach to resolve the conflict is posing multiple problems for the entire North African horizon and the Europe at large. Millions of people are in limbo inside the war-weary country and a similar number in a state of flux at its borders and inside Europe. The mass exodus into Europe and other Middle Eastern destinations will come to pose a severe test to the sensitive multicultural texture of the region, and bring with it new socio-economic and political challenges.

The crisis in Libya should not be solely seen from the prism of militarism. The European Union, the NATO and the United States’ expediency to go for the kill without exhausting diplomatic avenues has provided the hardened regime with the political muscles and excuse to fight on. Unlike Tunisia and Egypt where the civil uprising was pampered in a political language, the irresistibility to dislodge Gaddafi has overshadowed Libyan’s hope for a genuine change. The NATO has a responsibility to scale down and rethink its priorities.

Khaleej Times

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