Coalition Answers Libyan People’s Call, Flournoy Says

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2011 — Oper­a­tion Odyssey Dawn is a coali­tion effort respond­ing to the calls of the Libyan peo­ple, Arab nations and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty as a whole, the under­sec­re­tary of defense for pol­i­cy said today.
In a BBC inter­view, Michele Flournoy spoke about the oper­a­tion aimed at pro­tect­ing the peo­ple of Libya from forces loy­al to Moam­mar Gad­hafi and estab­lish­ing a no-fly zone over the nation.

Yesterday’s attacks set the con­di­tions to estab­lish the no-fly zone, she said.

“The first steps of estab­lish­ing any no-fly zone are tak­ing out the adversary’s air defens­es,” she explained. U.S. and British war­ships fired 110 Tom­a­hawk cruise mis­siles at the Libyan inte­grat­ed air and mis­sile defense sys­tem, and Amer­i­can B‑2 bombers attacked Libyan air­fields.

To date, the coun­tries that have announced they are part of the Odyssey Dawn coali­tion are the Unit­ed States, the Unit­ed King­dom, France, Italy, Cana­da and Qatar. More are expect­ed to announce sup­port in the com­ing days.

“This is an increas­ing­ly broad inter­na­tion­al coali­tion that includes not only the Unit­ed States and Euro­pean nations, but a num­ber of Arab nations that are step­ping up to pro­vide var­i­ous forms of assis­tance, whether it is mil­i­tary par­tic­i­pa­tion, access, bas­ing, finan­cial sup­port and so forth,” Flournoy said.

The mis­sion does not end with estab­lish­ing the no-fly zone, she said, not­ing that U.N. Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion 1973 calls for the coali­tion to pro­tect Libyan civil­ians. Gadhafi’s forces were mov­ing on Beng­hazi – the oppo­si­tion strong­point in east­ern Libya. Flournoy said coali­tion forces will use all assets “to stop Gadhafi’s forces from mov­ing in to those urban areas, to cut sup­ply lines, com­mand and con­trol and so forth.”

“We will do what­ev­er we can to enforce the U.N.’s res­o­lu­tion,” she added.

The under­sec­re­tary said direct­ing coali­tion air pow­er against Gadhafi’s tanks and armored vehi­cles in the cities will be dif­fi­cult, but time is not on Gadhafi’s side.

“The will of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty is quite strong,” she said. “The sol­i­dar­i­ty across … the region is quite strong. He’s lost his legit­i­ma­cy by attack­ing his own peo­ple. Time will tell the out­come of this oper­a­tion.”

Flournoy would not dis­cuss any­thing beyond the cur­rent oper­a­tion. “It’s too ear­ly to spec­u­late about where this is going to end up,” she said. “Gad­hafi and his mil­i­tary are going to be under enor­mous pres­sure. I think their efforts to turn against their own pop­u­la­tion will be thwart­ed. We will have to see how the days play out before we will know exact­ly how this end game will play out.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →