Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 28, 2011

28 August 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Libya: NATO Sorties Approach 21,000, Combat Sorties 8,000
  • Cyber Warfare, Armed Extremists, Bribery: Russian General Says NATO Makes Deals With Anyone To Promote Its Aims
  • NATO Provided Special Forces, Air Force For Regime Change
  • Afghan War: At Least 413 NATO Soldiers Killed This Year
  • NATO Tankers Destroyed In Capital Of Balochistan

Libya: NATO Sorties Approach 21,000, Combat Sorties 8,000

Click to access 20110828_110828-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 28, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 20,633 sorties, including 7,768 strike sorties,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 27 AUGUST: 115

Strike sorties conducted 27 AUGUST: 36


Cyber Warfare, Armed Extremists, Bribery: Russian General Says NATO Makes Deals With Anyone To Promote Its Aims


Voice of Russia
August 28, 2011

Libyan game over?
Ekaterina Kudashkina

Interview with Lieutenant-General Gennady Yevstafyev, expert in international security.

It appears that Libyan game is almost over and it gives us a chance to draw certain conclusions from what has happened in the last four months. Among those conclusions there are some very important ones. The first conclusion is that the victory for the West in Libya became possible only by creating a very unnatural coalition between NATO and extremist Muslim forces and a small amount of liberals that are very unnatural for Libya. So, it clearly shows that when there is a need NATO people can make deals with anybody in order to promote their aims and achieve the necessary results.

The second conclusion which we can draw from this situation is that there is a brand-new situation with cyber attacks. Maybe for the first time in recent history we see tremendous amount of cyber attacks and disorganization of the internal life of the whole state.

The states which are not very developed must take note of this because it appears that cyber attacks were extremely efficient and they really created a very explosive situation in the country, especially when you have a multinational country and you have all kinds of local tribes, and so on, and so on. So, you can use certain people to start the movements, then you spread it with cyber and internet facilities, and then you are taking over quite a big amount, quite broad layers of local population. This is quite clear and it will be very advised to think about it and to make certain decisions about the cyber attacks and the use of social media for internal and unlawful purposes. By the way, I think the British should be very susceptible to this after the events which happened in London recently.

The third conclusion is that the democrats in NATO are quite capable of rethinking international decisions. I mean the Security Council resolution which allowed the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, but they have interpreted this to the extent that they made it a NATO-only fly zone in Libya and then they openly helped one party in the internal conflict and bombed the legally-formed government of Gaddafi with whom I do not sympathize but we have to admit that only recently the Western countries dealt with him like with an officially recognized political force. That means that when supporting certain UN resolutions we have to think in broader terms and look more carefully into the possible consequences of supporting certain resolutions.

One more conclusion which we can draw: the Libyan crisis on the surface is almost over, but we are only witnessing possible unpredicted, unexpected developments in the internal affairs of this country because the amount of extremist organizations, including al-Qaeda, in the ranks of Libyan opposition is very sufficient and it is very interesting to see how the West that is stating that they are enemies of Islamic extremists, how they are going to cope with this situation and what is going to happen there.

In this sense I believe that the position of Moscow as far as the other Islamic countries of the Middle East concerning Syria is very much justified because there is no use in these circumstances to support any UN resolutions which allow the use of force because we now see the way the resolution was interpreted by NATO and the way it was used to crush the unpleasant regime. We understand that it is not only the problem of atrocities (nobody speaks about atrocities though it was the reason why this resolution was taken), but it is now very clear that the war was for Libyan oil and in this sense we have to watch carefully because among the countries which suffered from this unprecedented use of force against the Libyan state is Russia, which lost about $4 billion of possible contracts with Libya.

This is the situation which brings us to a very calm conclusion that NATO has to be taken seriously as an organization that can not be really relied upon in certain situations and we cannot have confidence in this organization when it comes to its own interest.

But how would you assess the rapid progress which actually came in only week’s time? Just a week ago everyone was saying that the Libyan opposition is so disunited that during the previous six months of NATO operation they still failed to achieve any progress whatsoever, and now we see rapid progress just in a week’s time. Do you think that there could be some involvement from external forces?

I would make a point and this point has a historic parallel.

You must remember when Saddam Hussein was thrown out of power during the military operation, an open military operation by Americans; everybody was also surprised how fast it occurred, but there was no secret about that, the secret was in the first three-four days but then it came out in the open. It is a betrayal because the United States, the Western countries, operate not only by military force, but mostly they operate by buying certain crucial figures of the regime with which they fight, by giving them money and by allowing this money to be spread among their subordinates.

I am sure that in this particular case there was a tremendous amount of money thrown into last week’s operations through which they managed to buy a number of crucial military people in Gaddafi’s military establishment. The other reason was that they have intensified their bombardments and there is a suspicion that NATO units took direct part in attacking the vital installations of Gaddafi’s regime.

But one has to see parallels between Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi. It is not spoken very loudly about but there was a very influential military leader in Saddam Hussein’s regime who was famous for his atrocities against Kurds and Shiah. Then, he suddenly left the Saddam Hussein regime and escaped abroad; he landed in Denmark but there he was taken under house arrest, he was allowed to live in Denmark but he was not allowed to leave the country under any circumstances. Just about a month before Saddam Hussein was crushed this man disappeared from Denmark and Danish officials were saying: oh, we do not know how it happened and all this kind of funny explanations, but this man disappeared and he was taken by Americans and he was the instrument through whom the Americans bought a number of crucial Iraqi military people who betrayed Saddam Hussein. I am sure that the same thing happened here.


NATO Provided Special Forces, Air Force For Regime Change


Digital Journal
August 28, 2011

Op-Ed: Libya: How the West was won…by NATO and special forces
Stephen Morgan


Last week NATO shamelessly weighted in on the side of the rebels with the help of special forces on the ground. Without it the rebels would never have won. There is now much talk that NATO has broken international law. So what role did they really play?

‘Subka and his unit waited at the rebel frontline, known as Kilometre Sixty, aboard a column of battered, black pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns and a few tanks recently captured from Gaddafi’s forces. ‘We are with the England team,’ he told the Guardian ‘They advise us.’
Special forces from Britain and France are on the ground advising on strategy and tactics for the coming assault and pin pointing targets for NATO airstrikes, in order to clear the path for the rebel advance. Resistance from loyalists has been stiff, but Subka is confident. ‘We don’t worry about those units – they are Nato’s concern.’

However, on Friday NATO was quick to deny the crucial role it was playing. Al Arabiya reported a press conference at which its spokesperson Lungescu insisted that NATO was sticking to its United Nations mandate, limited to protecting civilians from any attacks. ‘There is no military coordination with the rebels,’ she said.

When asked for his opinion on the statement Shashank Joshi, a Libyan war expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London, pulled no punches. The NATO denials are ‘absolute rubbish,’ he said. ‘There’s overwhelming evidence that NATO was not only helping the rebels but that it was a decisive and critical partner to the rebels. It was really engaged in a close and intimate level of coordination and support, without which the rebels could not have won this conflict, so I don’t believe a single word NATO is saying,’ he added.

More and more information is now coming to light on the decisive role played by NATO in the fall of Tripoli. Moreover, while kept secret until now, we are also learning more about how special forces from Britain, France, Qatar and Jordan helped pave the way for the victory. It is now clear that Gaddafi would probably still be in power without them.

In an op-ed on Saturday Andrew Rawnsley said ‘ I asked a member of the National Security Council whether there was any chance that the rebellion could have overthrown Gaddafi without outside assistance. He responded bluntly: ‘None at all. There’s no chance they could have done it without us.’

Just two weeks ago the situation was entirely different. Everything seemed bogged down in a protracted stalemate on all fronts. The assassination of General Younes had cast doubts over the opposition’s ability to remain united enough to overthrow the regime and conversely, Gaddafi appeared to be more durable than anyone had expected. All eyes were fixed on political efforts to find a negotiated settlement, which seemed the only plausible solution to end the conflict.

What broke the stalemate in Libya was the West’s decision to make a radical change in its strategy of regime change and the character of its military intervention through NATO. With fears about splits in NATO and even doubts about its very existence if the mission floundered, together with the overhanging fear that the West would again be held responsible for another failed state, envoys bent over backwards in talks with the regime to find a way out of the conflict, even to the point of offering Gaddafi the possibility of staying in Libya, exempt from ICC prosecution.

But Gaddafi wouldn’t budge and he evidently had the support of his inner circle, who gave no indication that they were likely to cave in. Caught between a clicking clock and a closed door, the West decided it had no choice but to launch a major military offensive, in the hope that it would force Gaddafi to surrender.

NATO swung into action quickly. Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller from the Washington Post reported that NATO and U.S. military and intelligence officials had revealed that, ’an opposition strategy (was) put in place two weeks ago with the advice of British, French and Qatari special forces on the ground’

Preparations for a possible attack upon Tripoli had, in fact, been going on much longer. British, French, Qatari and Jordanian special forces had spent months training rebels from the Western Mountains for a future attack on Tripoli. Eventually, they succeeded in organizing the raggedy groups of rebels into a cohesive force, which was prepared to follow an organized battle plan, under a central command.

On the key Saturday, August 13, when the rebel forces advanced on coastal and southern towns and rebels in Misrata made a determined push on Zlitan, TIME reported that NATO flew 105 sorties ‘including 36 strike missions against targets near Tripoli, Brega, Gharyan, Sirte and Zlitan. The targets included military facilities, command and control nodes, and both surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile sites.’

A reporter with the rebels described the scene around Zlitan, ‘Testimony to the deadly effect of Nato’s bombing was evident along the highway leading out of the city. Concrete buildings used as bunkers by Gaddafi’s forces were flattened, while tanks were ripped apart, their turrets and tracks strewn across the road. Further south, all that remained of an ammunition truck was a blackened carpet of splinters.’

When asked if NATO was acting as the rebel’s air force a NATO official acknowledged in a typically oblique way that ‘the effect of what we were doing was not dissimilar.’

Such precision bombing wasn’t possible without the profession expertise of special forces troops on the ground spotting targets and advising on tactics. This was underlined by another report in the Guardian, which explained that ‘the information from the ground gave British commanders the confidence to order RAF pilots to release laser and GPS-guided bombs and missiles on buildings identified as being used by Gaddafi forces. (Even including a Turkish restaurant!)

However, the Washington Post revealed that these special forces also involved undercover US intelligence units. ‘CIA operatives inside the country intercepted communications within the government’ providing ‘a deeper understanding of just how badly Gaddafi’s command structure had crumbled.’ The effect was devastating. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that NATO had destroyed Gaddafi’s military communications to such an extent that ‘he is forced to use the TV to send messages to his troops about where to attack and defend.’

Intelligence gathered was, in turn, passed onto the rebels on the ground to facilitate their advance. NATO ‘provided a lot of imagery on the locations of the Gaddafi forces, so, as the rebels were getting into their positions when they came around the south and up into the west side of Tripoli, (they) had a good sense of where (Gaddafi’s) forces were at.’

In this way, NATO obliterated Gaddafi’s defenses often in advance of rebels reaching each town and/or during key moments in the battles. The BBC reported that ‘Nato’s relentless pounding of armour and artillery east of Zawiya greatly softened up government units, breaking down much of the resistance that would otherwise have slowed the rebel path.’

Illustrating how effective the attacks were and how grateful the rebels were, the UK Independent printed an interview with a rebel soldier involved in the attack on Sabratha. ‘Mr Nato came and fired six missiles at seven o’clock in the morning. Boom, boom, boom and it was all over,’ ‘Oh yes, we are all very grateful to Mr Nato here.’ Asked why he thought they would win, another rebel replied ‘I believe in Allah – and Nato.’

Intoxicated with their successes, the rebels sights were fixed on one goal only – getting as quickly as possible to the center of Tripoli and hoisting the rebel flag on Martyrs’ Square. Once reports of uprisings in the capital came through, nothing was going to hold them back. neither NATO nor the NTC, nor even their own commanders.

Consequently NATO had no choice but to go the whole nine yards and hope for the best. As the rebels approached Tripoli, global intelligence agency STRATFOR described the scene ‘What is happening now is the movement of the forces into attack positions, logistical support being brought in, preliminary targeted artillery fire and air strikes with special operations teams already in place doing careful targeting, and psychological warfare against the defenders.’

Worrying pockets of resistance from Gaddafi forces remain, which suggest that the West is not quite won. Indeed, the Libyan ‘Wild West’ will take a long time to be tamed. ‘Order first, then law will follow’ was a motto of the earlier American frontier settlers. Bringing order to Libya’s ‘Wild West’ is likely to be a difficult and bloody affair and, until such time as the multitude of different militias and tribes agree to lay down their arms, power and law may well continue to rest mainly in the hands of gunslingers.


Afghan War: At Least 413 NATO Soldiers Killed This Year


BNO News
August 28, 2011

Roadside bomb kills NATO soldier in southern Afghanistan

KABUL: A roadside bomb killed a coalition service member in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Sunday.

ISAF said one of its service members was killed in southern Afghanistan as a result of an improvised explosive device (IED) attack. As usual, the multinational force gave no other details about the incident, including the exact location.

The nationality of the service member was also not immediately disclosed by ISAF. ‘It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities,’ a brief statement said.

Coalition casualties in Afghanistan have been rising sharply in recent years, with a total coalition death toll of 709 in 2010, making it the deadliest year for international troops since the war began in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

There are currently more than 132,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including some 90,000 U.S. troops and more than 9,500 British soldiers…

So far this year, at least 413 coalition service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Most troops are American and are killed in the country’s south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians. The deadliest incident happened earlier this month when a U.S. helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 U.S. troops, seven Afghan troops and an Afghan interpreter.


NATO Tankers Destroyed In Capital Of Balochistan


Daily Times
August 28, 2011

Two NATO tankers destroyed in Quetta

QUETTA: Two NATO oil tankers were set on fire by unidentified armed persons in the Mithri area of the Bolan district on Saturday, Levies officials said.

According to the officials, the two oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan were on their way from Karachi to Kandahar when unidentified armed men on motorcycles intercepted the tankers and opened fire at them on the National Highway near Mithri. As a result, the tankers caught fire and were completely destroyed. The assailants managed to escape from the scene after committing the crime. No one had claimed responsibility for the attack until the filing of this report.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.