Excellent article about Libyan Civil War from Egyptian perspective. Egypt is to shortly become the central player in the middle east, from all indications.
Libyan Loyalist Force Capability:
May 23,2011 update 2/3 of land forces, telecommunications and naval systems in the Gaddafi controlled areas have been destroyed by Nato Strikes, per Nato.
Man Power is probably 1/2 to 2/3 of the figures below, supplemented with conscripts,
Primary Analyst Source: http://www.peopleforum.cn/viewthread.php?tid=74482&extra=page%3D1
March 3, 2011
Heavy Equipment (armor, fighters,etc)
Kaamis 32nd Brigade, led by Ghadafi's son.
65% -10 shooting own people + 10% FANTASTIC REWARDS
Armor & Artillery: Paper Strength: Main Battle Tanks - 2,205, including 180 T-90S 200 T-62 Reconnaissance vehicles - 120.Armored Infantry Fighting vehicles - 1,000 Armored personnel carriers: 945 Artillery pieces 2,421 (including 444 self-propelled, 647 towed Mortars 500
Air Defense surface-to-air missiles 424
Other Army and Police Units
6,500 my est
Pan African Mercenary Force
- 7 for eqpt + 7 for rewards -5 for civilian slaughter
18,000 max strength on paper
estimated real strength: est. 100 serviceable aircraft 50 helicopter gunships Paper strength (est 35% of these) 13-Mirage F1-ED, 94 MiG-25, 75 MiG-23 and 45 MiG-21.
Red Forces are Rebels, Green are Loyalists
Berber Warrior 1885
"The Libyan rebels in the sparsely populated Nafusa Mountains, who joined the anti-Gadhafi uprising almost immediately after it began in mid-February, seized Wazin from Gadhafi's forces last week and used it to restock their deserted towns and ferry injured fighters to Tunisian hospitals. The border post sits at a strategic point for Gadhafi, roughly halfway between his capital of Tripoli and the southern desert town of Ghadames, an important supply point for his forces.
The clashes ignited Thursday evening when pro-Gadhafi soldiers overran the rebels and briefly retook the border post. Rebel reinforcements quickly arrived and flushed out the Gadhafi fighters after dark Thursday, but sporadic fighting continued overnight in the dusty hills and valleys around Wazin.
Best article "Tribes rise up against Gaddafi" - fr African Press
Analysis of the likely outcome of the revolt in Libya commencing February 17 2011, as of March 5 2011 0100 PST
Libya's military: what does Gaddafi have left?
Summary of best estimates March 2, 2011
Three Solid Brigades of high morale troops from tribes affiliated with the
Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have recaptured a town in Libya's mostly rebel-held east, rebel military officers said on Wednesday, in an attempt to break the momentum of a popular rebellion against his 41-year-old rule.
Forces sent by the Libyan leader had seized back Marsa El Brega after violent clashes with rebels who had controlled the town 800 km (500 miles) east of the captial Tripoli, the rebel officers told Reuters.
"It's true. There was aerial bombardment of Brega and Gaddafi's forces have taken it," Mohamed Yousef, an officer in the town of Ajdabiyah which is about 75 km (47 miles) from Brega, told Reuters on Wednesday.
So, what's the exact data of Gaddafi's military muscle?
On paper, Libya's military has some 100,000 troops, more than 2,000 tanks, 374 aircraft and a navy and includes two patrol submarines. What Colonel Muammar Gaddafi actually has left to call on is a different matter.
Here are some details of Libya's armed forces, officially totaling around 76,000 active personnel, plus a reserve or people's militia of some 40,000.
GROUND FORCES - STRENGTH ON PAPER:
Numbers: 50,000 including 25,000 conscripts.
Main Battle Tanks - 2,205, including 180 T-90S and 200 T-62.
The rest are in store.
Reconnaissance vehicles - 120.
Armored Infantry Fighting vehicles - 1,000.
Armored personnel carriers - 945.
Artillery pieces 2,421 (including 444 self-propelled, 647 towed).
Mortars - 500.
Air Defense surface-to-air missiles - at least 424.
GROUND FORCES - REALITY:
Even before the uprising, Libya's military strength was seen as having been seriously undermined by sanctions and neglect although Western powers had just began to sell it weapons again. Much of the equipment is seen as poorly maintained or unusable, leaving it hard to estimate genuine numbers.
Analysts say Gaddafi tried to emasculate the regular army to avoid the emergence of commanders who might rival his immediate family, relying instead particularly on three loyal "regime protection" units often of his own tribe.
That leaves him with what most estimate to be some 10-12,000 loyal Libyan troops. The most reliable formation is seen to be the 32nd Brigade commanded by Gaddafi's son Khamis.
Repeated reports from witnesses, rights groups and others talk of African mercenaries flown in by Gaddafi to help strengthen his government. Exact numbers are impossible to obtain.
But analysts say the opposition lacks much in the way of command and control or even any form of centralized leadership. So far, opposition units have focused primarily on defending territory and have shown little appetite to advance.
That leaves loyalist forces trying to stem protest and perhaps regain lost territory in Libya's west around Tripoli. The key coastal city of Sirte between Tripoli and Benghazi is still under government control and the east effectively lost.
But experts warn the situation remains fluid.
"We underestimate the degree of loyalty in the security forces," warns Shashank Joshi, Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. "The defections appear to be patchwork and possibly along tribal lines. The units that matter, such as Khamis's 32nd Brigade, are holding together
Anti Government Libyan Force Capability:
Current Rebel force estimates: May 23, 2011 : 8.000 - 12.000 men.
Excerpted from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Gaddafi_forcesPolitical Groups declaring independence or rebellion:
ANother source on Libya Tribes March 11, 2011
Gadhadhfa Tribe: Stronghold of the Regime's Head
Libyan leader Mu`ammar Gaddafi descends from Gadhadhfa tribe, which dominates the security apparatuses and militias affiliated to the regime.
The tribe, concentrated in Sirte and Sebha and widely present in Tripoli and Benghazi, is accused of taking part in firing on the protesters.
There are reports of anti-Gaddafi demonstrations in the city of Sebha, from which the Libyan leader descends.
Warfla Tribe Overturns the Balances
Warfla, Libya's biggest tribe, with an estimated population of one million, declared on Sunday evening, February 20, its decision to join the protests against the regime. Warfla tribe is widely present in the cities of Bani Walid, Sirte, Tripoli, and Benghazi.
Having joined the uprising, Warfla overturned the balances in favor of the revolution and is likely to accelerate the downfall of Gaddafi's regime, given the tribe's influence that derives from its large population and past history. The tribe had earlier engaged in an attempt to overthrow the regime of Gaddafi with the assistance of its sons among the army officers. Since then, they have been subject to killing, imprisonment and restriction. Observers assert that the stance of Gaddafi has greatly weakened since Warfla – which has widespread ethnic roots in all parts of Libya – joined the protests.
|Libya's society is mostly composed of tribes, a factor that has a significant role to play in the success or failure of the revolution and the continuation or downfall of the regime.|
Tarhuna Tribe Joins the Revolution
Like Warfla, Tarhuna tribe joined the anti-Gaddafi protests. With populations of nearly two million, Warfla and Tarhuna are the biggest tribes in Libya. Tarhuna descends from Hawara tribe that spreads from Taorga to Tripoli.
Meanwhile, `Abdul-Hakim Abuzwida, a spokesman for Tarhuna tribe, stated that the leaders of his tribe, which represent one third of the population of the capital Tripoli, had declared their disavowal of the regime and the tribe's decision to join the revolution against the "dictator".
The leaders of the tribe, of which are most army troops, sought to raise the awareness of the tribe's sons, especially the soldiers among them, about the history of their tribe and to warn them against being driven to the dissension plotted by the regime, which distributed weapons to many, and called for by Saif Al-Islam.
Zawiya Tribe Threatens to Cut Oil Flow
The tribe of Zawiya, located in Libya's southern oil regions, joined the revolutionaries and threatened to cut the flow of oil to Western countries unless the security forces stop firing on the demonstrators.
Faragallah Zoy, one of the tribe's leaders, has said the tribe is giving a warning to Gaddafi, for a 24-hour period, to end the bloodshed and the suppression of the protesters; otherwise, the tribe will halt the flow of oil to Western countries.
Tuareg Tribes Attack the Regime's Buildings
Tuareg tribes joined the revolution and attacked buildings affiliated to the regime. Tuareg people, known as the blue men of the desert, live in southern Libya around Ghadames and in Ghat, Djanet, and Suhoul Adrar. Moreover, they have extensions in neighboring countries, notably Algeria, Niger, and Mali. Their men are known for their distinct clothes and veiled faces. Tuareg people are Sunni Muslims, following the Maliki school of thought. They have the same identity as North African populations, and they speak the Amazigh language in the Tuareg dialect.
In a phone call with Al-Jazeera channel from Brussels, Akli Sheikha, from Tuareg tribes, stressed his tribes' support of those demanding the downfall of Gaddafi's regime.
Zentan Tribe and the Power of the Army
Zentan tribe was early to join the revolution. With the security brigades witnessing wide rifts, many of the tribe's members fought on the side of the revolutionaries against the mercenaries and some of Gaddafi's guards, who are waging a war on the people with light and heavy military weapons. Zentan is one of Libya's biggest Arab tribes, and it is located in the region of Nafusa Mountains.
Bani Walid Tribe Raises the Banner of Disobedience
The tribe of Bani Walid decided to withdraw its sons from the security brigades after information reached members of the tribe that Brigadier General `Abdulla Senoussi – Gaddafi's son-in-law, charged with maintaining control over Misrata – was using the tribe's sons in the security brigades, along with the mercenaries, to suppress the demonstrators in other cities.
Families from Bani Walid contacted their sons among the soldiers and asked them to come back, if possible, and refrain from attacking any protester in Misrata or any other city. Upon the arrival of some buses that transported them to Misrata, they left their positions and joined the protesters. As for those still in Bani Walid, they also learned about the issue and as a result rebelled and fled their camp. It is known that the two cities of Misrata and Bani Walid are socially and administratively linked.
`Obeidat Tribe Causes Rifts in the Security Forces
The tribe of `Obeidat put pressure on its sons to quit the security forces loyal to the regime. Moreover, some reports emerged suggesting that Gen `Abdul-Fattah Younes Al-`Abidi, the Interior Minister, had broken away from Gaddafi following pressure by his tribe, `Obeidat, one of the biggest in Libya. In addition, it was reported that Gen Suleiman Mahmoud Al-`Obeidi had done the same, also after pressure by his tribe and a promise to forget all what he had done since September 1969 coup. As a partial result of the above, rifts grew within the ranks of the forces loyal to `Abdul-Salam Jaloud and they ultimately disintegrated.
Maqarha Tribe and Its as yet Indecisive Position
Some Libyans see a remaining hope in the possibility that Maqarha tribe in the western region – to which Gaddafi's loyalist `Abdul-Salam Gulod belongs – will join the revolt, giving rise to a quicker downfall of the regime. The tribe is expected to join the revolutionaries at any moment, as everyone is certain now that the revolution is on its way to success. Maqarha is deemed one of the most important tribes in Libya.
Finally, as the major tribes in Libya shifted their positions in favor of the revolution, the other tribes may be driven to follow suit before long and decide their stances in support of this revolt. Col Mu`ammar Gaddafi is pursuing every possible means to deal with this unfolding situation, such as holding expanded meetings with the tribal leaders and asking them to help stop the protests. Yet, it seems that the Libyan popular uprising has reached the point of no return.
Libyan Tribal Map: Network of loyalties that will determine Gaddafi's fate
By Abdulsattar Hatitah
Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Libyan tribes played an important role in the country's fight against Ottoman, and later Italian, colonialism, with
many Libyan tribal members sacrificing their lives in this war. It is believed that there are currently around 140 different tribes and clans in Libya, many of which have influences and members outside of the country, from Tunisia to Egypt to Chad. However Dr. Faraj Abdulaziz Najam, a Libyan specialist in Social Sciences and History, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Libyan tribes and clans that have genuine and demonstrable influence on the country number no more than 30 [tribes and family clans].
In a country that has lived under the brutal dictatorship of one man for more than forty years, namely Colonel Muammar Gaddafi –of the Gaddafi tribe – the majority of Libyans depend on their tribal connection in order to obtain their rights, and for protection, and even in order to find a job, particularly in the state apparatus. In a study conducted by Dr. Amal al-Obeidi at the University of Garyounis in Benghazi, it was revealed that the two largest and most influential Arab tribes in Libya originated from the Arab Peninsula, and these are the Beni Salim tribe that settled in Cyrenaica, the eastern coastal region of Libya, and the Beni Hilal that settled in western Libya around Tripoli. However other Libyan researchers and expert also revealed that around 15 percent of the Libyan population have no tribal affiliation whatsoever, being descendents of the Berber, Turkish, and other communities.
The degree of political allegiance to the ruling regime in Tripoli varies from one tribe to the next, particularly over the forty years that Gaddafi has been in power. The tribe which has the strongest, and longest, ties to the Gaddafi region is the Magariha tribe, who which has yet to announce their position on the bloody demonstrations that have been taking place across the country for the past week. Former Libyan Prime Minister Abdessalam Jalloud, widely regarded as Gaddafi's right-hand man for much of his reign, is a member of the Magariha tribe. Gaddafi's own tribe, the Gaddafi tribe, had historically not been an important tribe in Libya prior to Colonel Gaddafi's ascent to power, and the Gaddafi tribe was not known for playing a major role in Libya's right against colonialism over the last 200 years.
The leadership of the Magariha tribe acknowledges a debt of gratitude to Gaddafi and his regime for securing the return of one of the tribe's members, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, from prison in Britain after he was convicted of being behind the Lockerbie bombing. However sources also told Asharq Al-Awsat that this has not prevented a number of youths of the Magariha tribe from participating – with members from other tribes – in the demonstrations and protests against Gaddafi's rule, especially in cities in eastern and southern Libya.
Experts say that the Magariha tribe is in the best position to carry out a coup against the Libyan leader, as many members of this tribe are in sensitive and senior positions of the Libyan government and security services. Whilst the Zawiya tribe is also in a strong position, and has threatened to stop the flow of oil into western Libya unless the authorities stop their deadly crackdown against the Libyan protestors.
Tribal influence in Libya is extremely important, particularly since the 1970s, with tribal affiliation being important with regards to obtaining employment in Libya's General People's Committees, as well as in the country's security apparatus.
The largest and most influential tribe in eastern Libya is the Misurata tribe, which takes its name from the Misurata district in northwestern Libya. The tribe has particularly strong influence in the cities of Benghazi and Darneh.
As for the Cyrenaica region, the most prominent tribe's in this area are the Kargala tribe, the Tawajeer tribe, and the Ramla tribe.
However the Misurata region has, over the past 50 years, become divided between those who belong to the traditional tribes that follow traditional tribal pursuits, and those who have given up this lifestyle and live in the region's urban centers.
Some of the more prominent tribes and families that have given up the Bedouin tribal culture in the Misurata region are: the el-Mahjoub clan, the Zamoura family, the Kawafi tribe, the Dababisa tribe, the Zawaiya tribe, the al-Sawalih tribe, and the al-Jarsha tribe.
As for the Kawar tribe, this is comprised of many sub-tribes of Arab descent, with some analysts saying that this tribe – which takes its name from the Kaouar region – is made up of as many as 15 smaller tribes.
The al-Awaqir tribe is centered in the Barqah region of Cyrenaica, and this tribe is well known for the prominent role that it played in the war against Ottoman and Italian colonialism. The al-Awaqir tribe
has also historically played a prominent role in Libyan
politics, including during the previous era of the Libyan
monarchy as well as during Gaddafi's reign. Al-Awaqir
tribal members have held senior positions within
Gaddafi's regime, including ministerial positions. As for Tobruk and the surrounding region, there are a number of prominent tribes in this area, including the Abdiyat tribe, that is made up of around 15 sub-tribes, and which is one of the most powerful tribes in the Cyrenaica region. The Masamir tribe is also an important tribe in this region, and although this tribe is known in Libya for its religious inclinations and piety, members of this tribe played a prominent role in
fighting against Italian colonialism, particularly during the first half of the twentieth century.
As for the al-Mujabra tribe, this tribe has a strong presence south-west of Tripoli near the Al Jabal Al Gharbi district. Brigadier General Abu Bark Younis Jaber, Libyan head of the army, is also a prominent member of this tribe.
The Libyan Farjan tribe is centered west of the city Ajdabiya, and members of this tribe can be found in most of Libya's costal cities, including Sirte, Zilten, and Tripoli. The Fizan district, and the area around Tripoli, is the home to the Zawiya tribe, the Warfala tribe, the Magariha tribe, and the Maslata tribe. The majority of people in the city of Tripoli are affiliated to the Masrata tribe, such as the Muntasir clan, the Suni family, the Qadi family, the al-Bashti family, and many other prominent families.
NAVY - STRENGTH ON PAPER
Numbers: 8,000 including coast guard.
Submarines - 2 patrol submarines.
Surface combatants - 3
Patrol and coastal combatants - 14
NAVY - REALITY
Libya's two surviving Foxtrot class diesel submarines were delivered by the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, but outside experts have long questioned their reliability. According to IHS Jane's, in 2003 one was reported to be in dry dock and one was sea going -- although unlikely to be fully operational. It suggested both might already have been abandoned.
AIR FORCE - STRENGTH ON PAPER
Combat capable aircraft - 374.
227 fighter aircraft -- 13-Mirage F1-ED, 94 MiG-25, 75 MiG-23 and 45 MiG-21.
Helicopters - 85 Support helicopters
35 Attack helicopters
AIR FORCE - REALITY
Analysts estimate many of Libya's fast jets are in fact no longer airworthy. Gaddafi has so far also lost at least three aircraft in the course of this uprising with two jets defecting to Malta and the crew of a third ejecting over the desert rather than bomb opposition targets as ordered.
Occasional reports have also spoken of the use of helicopter gunships, fuelling calls for foreign powers to impose a no-fly zone.
There are also Air Defense Command forces which possess at least 216 surface-to-air missiles and 144 towed and 72 self propelled missiles.
Again, maintenance may be an issue. Most analysts believe Libya's armed forces would not be able to seriously threaten outside air forces attempting to enforce a no-fly zone, saying Gaddafi's defense capabilities probably lag behind those of Iraq's Saddam Hussein before the US-led 2003 invasion.
The BBC reported a British RAF Hercules transport aircraft evacuating foreign nationals came under small arms fire this week but was not seriously damaged. Some suggested the attack might have come from opposition forces who mistook the plane for one of Gaddafi's aircraft on a bombing raid.
According to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Libya destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical weapons munitions in early 2004 as part of a rapprochement with the West that also saw it abandon a nuclear program.
The OPCW told Reuters Libya did retain some 9.5 tons of deadly mustard gas at a secret desert location but no longer had the capability to deliver it.
Speaking to Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, Libya's former minister says beleaguered dictator may turn to the country's estimated 9.5 tons mustard gas stockpile.
Libyan Leader Muammar Gadhafi may resort to using biological and chemical weapons as a last resort amid the country's escalating and violent unrest, Al Jazeera quoted a former Libyan minister as saying on Friday.Former justice minister Mustafa Abdel Galil told the broadcaster Al Jazeera that Gaddafi had those weapons and would not hesitate to use them against civilians."At the end when he's really pressured, he can do anything. I think Gadhafi will burn everything left behind him," he warned late Thursday.
The regime is known to still possess substantial quantities of mustard gas. Gadhafi agreed in 2003 to dismantle Libya's nuclear and chemical weapons program, and has destroyed about 50% of its chemical weapons, but due to delays is still believed to have Mustard gas.
Author's Opinion June 6, 2011: My research, started without any sympathy for the Loyalists has now gone I wouldnt say 180, but at least 90. Kucinich laid it out June 4, 2011 on MSNBC. I have learned enough now that I have withdrawn my support for the rebels. Check Out HR51 The Kucinich resolution to withdraw all troops in 15 days. I also have been given a tip by someone credible that there may have been Israeli involvement, and incredibly Gaddafi was not lying when he said El Qaeda was involved. This story is incredible - and the cynicism of the British, French and Americans is staggering. As Churchill said, the neutrals will shudder wondering which of them is to be "liberated" next.
Author's Opinion May 23, 2011: I support the Libyan rebellion, but I do not support wanton destruction - and dark similarities to Iraq.
illegal bombing by NATO. Immediate elections are possible with no further bloodshed - the rebels will win - and the loyalists can form a minority party. Those guilty of war crimes should first be prosecuted in Libya, once elections are completed. The International Court complaint should be satisfied by this.
May 31, 2011: Pittsburgh Gazette:
Former US Ambassador who lived in Libya says
Just as the US intervened allegedly on principle to not stand by while "a tyrant massacres his own people, so to Gaddafi will fiercely resist on the principle of non interference in the affairs of another country.
1. Rebel Victory - tainted by NATO involvement
2. Rebel Victory - with broad popular support
4. Negotiatied ceased fire followed by plebescite etc
5. Current Govt of Libya crushes rebellion.
1. Libya had a very high standard of living compared to other african and middle eastern countries, with women allowed to participate in all professions. Yet Gaddafi is allegedly a brutal dictator.
So How did the Libyan People Feel about their Government BEFORE THE CONFLICT?
Well it happens there is a 2010 Gallup Poll that may answer: How Were the Libyan People faring in Gaddafi's Libya:
GALLUP POLL OF LIBYANS FROM LATE 2010 ABOUT HOW HAPPY AND SATISFIED THEY ARE
Residents in Benghazi less satisfied than Tripoli residents
by Julie Ray
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup surveys in Libya's two largest cities -- part of a wider effort -- offer a glimpse into the lives of Tripoli and Benghazi residents before protests erupted. Wellbeing was low in each city in late 2010, but residents of Benghazi, the epicenter of the demonstrations, were less satisfied than Tripoli residents in two areas: the freedom to choose what they do with their lives and efforts to create good jobs.
May 9, 2011
A cease fire could occur now
1. Each province under an internationally monitored election would choose assoc w current govt transitional or neutral.
2. Once the states have stabilized - a national election can be organized.
3. We do not have to bomb to obtain a cessation of hostilities - It is clear to me as an objective researcher that Gadaffi can be dealt with non violently.
Therefore NATO is liable for all damages that occur to Libya. 900,000 children died in Iraq due to increased infant mortality rates due to complete annhilation of infrastructure. The parallels to Iraq are startling:
Both Iraq and Libya were started on flimsy pretexts:
May 8, 2011 "Life Imitates Art". A number of pieces of information create dark rumours about the Wests true motivations. I personally am perplexed. This is the stuff of conspiracy theories but each element has a factual core.
3) A boat was left to starve that was reported several times to Italian and Nato authorities
This reminds me of Frank Herberts Dune. This is precisely the scenario Frank Herbert modeled - except for 1 thing Gadaffi. He does not fit - unless you think he is Baron Harkonnen! And of course no Paul.
To understand Gaddafi's mind - is to see everything in terms of neo colonialism. Libya muzzled its people under Gaddafi we are told and i believe it. They also have free medical care, zero interest bank loans, free higher education, and a gift of 50.000 US to each couple that marries. In the leaders mind he is a crusader for justice, and the cost of repression is the price that must be paid.
The media in order not to undermine support for the rebels must squarely address what role these sub plots are playing. There is an enormous amount of uneasiness in the world regarding the Bank Of International Settlements, the world bank, the IMF, the purchase of massive tracts of land in developing countries by China in particular to grow its own food and resources in an area of hunger and poverty. There are many questions people have and if the rebellion is to be not only succesful but also beneficial questions should be asked. Will Libya retain its sovereignty? Will the succesful policies of universal education and medicine be terminated? Will the rebels embrace the West so thoroughly that they throw the baby out with the bathwater? And as these issues come up, will others covertly funnel aid to Gaddafi due to sympathy? (Algeria which has a large land border with Libya, is sympathetic now.....
May 7, 2011 Gaddafi regime use of Mercenaries getting clearer.
The Mercenaries are comprised of 3 types:
1. Sub Saharan Africans
This makes controlling the Southern airfields and borders essential for both sides, as without these airfields and crossings, the Government forces cannot obtain soldiers of any quality, and with four different rebel front (misrata, Adjabiya, The far south East (Jalu) and the Berbers of the Nasrulah (Western Mountains), in addition to NATO, attrition must be a problem. One would assume he is losing at least 50-100 fighters a day.
turns into struggle between African Mercenaries and NATO
May 3, 2011 : The Berber become the most effective force in the struggle against the Gadaffi Government: The Berber live in the Mountains south of Tripoli (on the map on the right Nalut, Zintan and Yafran are all Berber towns.
The Berber have been demonstrating innate understanding of guerilla tactics lacking in the urban well meaning but non martial people of Benghazi. Of course the forces in Benghazi are improving rapidly, but there is no way to instill overnight a martial spirit like the Berber possess. The Berber have executed many ambushes, hit and run attacks, and have been self sufficient through capturing government equipment from fleeing government forces. They have a series of victories under their belt which makes morale very high, and Gadaffi like the other north african countries has treated them as second class citizens. Even today there language cannot be spoken at public events in Tunisia without prior permission.
Benghazi's distance from the capital and its history, however, may play a role in residents' lower reported satisfaction with their freedom to choose what they do in life. Residents in the eastern coastal city have chafed under Moammar Gadhafi's leadership in the past. The 34% in Benghazi who were satisfied was lower than the percentages in other large cities in the region, including Tunis (54%). It's important to note that one in five or more in each Libyan city said they didn't know or refused to answer, which could indicate a degree of sensitivity to the question.
Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 540 adults in Tripoli and 300 adults in Benghazi, aged 15 and older, conducted in September and October 2010. For results based on the sample of adults in Tripoli, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4.6 percentage points. For results based on the sample of adults in Benghazi, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±6.1 percentage points. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
5/13/2011 We know that Libya under Gadaffi was amongst the absolute lowest scoring Nations of civil and political freedom. Yet they score very high on the Human Development Index: Lets drill down a bit:
Libya : Why does it have a high Human Development Score ?
Data Analysis In Summary taking a sampling of 10:
US Poverty rate 14.2% 2010 vs Libya 7.2% (2005)
Update 5/2/2011: A major offensive (what I call "Hammer" below) was launched by the Government on 3/9/2011 - the rebels were all but routed - but it did draw the UN and NATO into the conflict.
May 1, 2011: The Nato bombing that killed these members of the ruling family appear to be an attempt at assasination:
Russia and China protest as the UN Resolution was limited to actions to protect civilians. NATO has decided that includes destruction of all command and control systems. Telecommunications and Energy and Roads are then fair game. Is this really what the opposition wants? The Estimates of number of people who died in Iraq due to destruction of infrastructure and later starvation and disease is as high as 2 million. One might cynically conclude that many construction contracts will be awarded to rebuild all this.
April 30, 2011: Saif Al Arab and his 3 children, the son and grandchildren of Gadaffi die in allied bombing on their house. The house had a compound of some sort underneath, as Gadaffi has a warren of tunnels this is not surprising.
April 25, 2011: It has become increasingly apparant that urban Libyans no longer think of themnselves as members of a tribe first. They consider this patronizing.
March 16, 2011: Although Gaddafi will likely crush the rebellion - the regimes days are numbered.
Mar 8 2011: Watch for Operation Hammer - 3-10 to 3-12
Best Articles today and yesterday:
"Libya is not a piece of cake"
the last words before the Western Allies Bombing of Saif Al Islam Al Gadaffi - the most promising of Gadaffi's kids -he may look like a jerk here - but this is an act of filial piety - he could have sold out his father - and didnt
March 13 2011 2219 PST: Misratah reports possible fighting breaking out between factions.
Analysis Mar 6 2011 1220P PST
Loyalist Strategy: Gadaffi must know that his position will not automatically prevail. He must in secret have a Plan B, to appear in someway magnanimous in exiting. To save his place in history when in 1969 he and other military officers deposed a unpopular and corrupt monarchy under King Idris
. Gadaffi and the military council in Libya - did many positive things for the every day Libyans, they did give the masses access to the oil wealth in the form of better education, health and ability to rise in society. He also did kick out Abu Nidal, the most violent Palestinian Nationalist ever known, after one of several gruesome purges by Abu Nidal of Fatah, in this case burying 140 men alive and encasing their bodies in the foundation of his compound.
So Gadaffi looks for a position he can move to - where he still has relevance. But that is impossible. He almost certainly will be pursued like a hunted dog. So it is easy to see why would fight doggedly. Defeat is not yet assured, defections back could occur if the anti government forces begin to splinter or make a big mistake.
His forces will attempt to keep arms and resources out of the hands of the rebels, and reverse the momentum. They will seek to inflitrate the rebels. They will seek to keep unmonitored communications cut. To divide each group from the other and deal with them bit by bit.
Therefore the key of course is to prevent more groups from defecting and building loyalist blocks in the tribes that have defected. He therefor has to be very careful about the level of lethal force. He may target certain tribes more severely than others who have traditional antipathies with the groups he punishes most severely. But what incentive can he provide to those who ho have broken with the government. The writing on the wall of history must darken and become very foreboding for those who have dared defy him. He must use disinformation to put fear into certain groups - isolate them - and then show magnaminity in re-embracing them, perhaps with a new democratic council which is full of his supporters. but perhaps done with his friend, Hugo Chavez, or similar.
The rebels can play a waiting game, if they can secure ongoing supplies and establish govt in their territories. But without foreign assistance, they would be very vulnerable to bombardment that would make it impossible to have much major economic activity or to be able to protect any concentrations of arms, forces and heavy equipment. So far they have knocked out about 4% of his core air strength - how much anti air capability do they possess?
By diverting focus from a political arena to a military arena - The opposition is not as strong - it needs to redefine the momentum as a political struggle more than a military one - or so one would think.
Their are more opposition volunteers than there are effective forces for the loyalists, therefore the front should expand in every direction all the time, forcing the loyalists to choose where to defend, leaving them poorly defended in all the points they cannot choose to mass at.