Libya under siege won’t end quickly

A Libyan rebel holds the rebellion flag as he stands over wrecked military vehicles belonging to Muammar Gaddafi forces hit by French warplanes. Dozens of Gaddafi military vehicles, including tanks, were destroyed in morning air strikes by the coalition west of Benghazi.

The United States’ top military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said initial Western air strikes on Libya yesterday had made significant progress against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and effectively established a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone.

Now comes the hard part.

As Western military planners conduct battle-damage assessments and launch further strikes after unleashing more than 100 cruise missiles and waves of air strikes, analysts cautioned against expecting a quick or easy outcome.

While the early stages of the campaign were likely to be declared successful, the conflict could become far messier, with a risk of the Western allies getting mired in a long standoff.

Analysts stressed the limitations of air power once initial, easy targets were destroyed and said the power base Gaddafi has built up in more than four decades of rule could prove far more resilient than many would hope.

As the campaign becomes more complex, there is a significant risk that Western forces could cause casualties among the very civilians they are mandated to protect, eroding support for their mission.

“In terms of the mission to enforce a no-fly zone, they are likely to be extremely effective,” said Shashank Joshi of the Royal United Service Institute think tank. “They will already have destroyed the preponderance of Libyan air defenses.

“But the question is, even once you have established a no-fly zone … what happens next?
Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said air strikes “took out” Gaddafi’s air defenses and hit Libyan air fields while Western forces established air patrols over the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

“But this is the beginning of the war,” said STRAFOR’s head George Friedman. “Gaddafi’s primary capabilities are conventional armor and particularly artillery. Destroying his air force and isolating his forces will not by itself win the war. The war is on the ground.”

Civilian deaths irk Arab League

TRIPOLI – Western forces’ day-old intervention hit a diplomatic setback as the Arab League chief condemned the “bombardment of civilians.”

Arab League chief Amr Moussa called for an emergency meeting of the group of 22 states to discuss Libya. He requested a report into the bombardment.

Arab backing for a no-fly zone provided crucial underpinning for the passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution last week that paved the way for Western action to stop Gaddafi killing civilians as he fights an uprising against his rule.

Gaddafi hit, vows to keep fighting

Tripoli. Western air strikes pounded Muammar Gaddafi’s defenses and allied warplanes patrolled Libyan skies yesterday, lifting the siege of Benghazi and allowing rebels to surge forward.

The aerial assault stopped in its tracks the advance by Gaddafi’s troops into Benghazi and left the burned and shattered remains of his tanks and troop carriers littering the main road outside the rebel stronghold.

Gaddafi said the raids amounted to terrorism and vowed to fight to the death. “We will not leave our land and we will liberate it,” he said on state television. “We will remain alive and you will all die.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."