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27 March 2011

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William R. Cumming

Thanks PL! Sounds reasonable IMO! Not sure about relying on battlefield "trophies" to adequate arm the insurgents! Don't we have some Ak-47's or derivatives and RPGs lying around "rusting"?

Patrick Lang

WRC

There are mountains of junk available in Libya. It is good enough junk. "Trophies?" Don't be a wise guy. I have seen revolutions armed with far less than what is available in Libya. pl

William R. Cumming

Okay defer to your knowledge!Do the insurgents have any indirect fire weaponry?

clifford kiracofe

A sound assessment of which policymakers should take careful note.

I have seen what AKs, RPGs, and simple dynamite (boosted or not) can do in decades gone by in Southern Africa and in Central America. They do the job they were designed for very well.

WILL

i have reconsidered. yes, the arabic transcription is quite clear, qathafi. But in Gaza Jamal is pronounced with a J & in Egypt with a G as in Gamal. In the Libyan Arabic dialect, his name is Kaddafi, hence the English transcriptions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libyan_Arabic

dh

I think you are overlooking a considerable number of civilian Ghadaffi supporters who will either need protection or refugee status somewhere.

WILL

for latest Libya info if you have twitter downloaded, try
#feb17.info
also
#pat_lang

Patrick Lang

WRC

They don't need to master the art of indrect fire. They have NATO's air forces. What they are going to need are some forward air controllers. pl

clifford kiracofe

On the financial side:

"Libyan rebels have said they plan to start exporting oil from fields in their territory "in less than a week", and said the Gulf nation of Qatar will market the crude.

A rebel representative, Ali Tarhoni, said he signed a contract with Qatar recently and the deal will ensure "access to liquidity in terms of foreign denominated currency".

We are producing about 100,000 to 130,000 barrels a day, we can easily up that to about 300,000 a day.

We contacted the oil company of Qatar and they agreed to take all the oil we export and market that oil for us. We have an escrow account ... and the money will be deposited in this account, and this way there is no middle man and we know where the money is going."
http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/live-blog-libya-march-27

Nice move on the chessboard...

William R. Cumming

Agree as to FACs!

The Twisted Genius

The latest running of the Benghazi handicaps (stakes) is on. Whether Qathafi's forces decide to try to hole up in Sirte is the next question. I'm watching film form Ras Lanuf showing the rebels looking through stockpiles of weapons and ammunition left behind by the retreating Qathafi forces. In true guerrilla warfare fashion, the rebels will supply themselves from their enemy. I read a very short blurb in some news report last Friday that we plan on moving A-10s into the fight. That's a sweet move if true. They will be better at hitting targets of opportunity in tight spots. My old fraternity room mate flew A-10s for one tour and fell in love with them. That's a lot for a fighter jockey to admit.

Qathafi's forces are brittle, but I'm pretty sure those closest to him will fight to the end and become even more brutal as the end comes near. I hope that people of Tripoli do not rise up prematurely. That is a bloodbath waiting to happen.

Fred

dh,

All the more reason for his subordinates(?) within his tribe/supporters to find a new leader.

The Twisted Genius

WRC,

I saw footage of rebel usage of a mortar. It was frightening. It was poorly placed in loose soil, at an 800mil OR LESS elevation. The bipod looked like it was ready to collapse after the first round was fired. I don't think the sight was mounted on the tube. Unless they get some serious training, the rebels don't need indirect fire weapons. I'm apprehensive about what they're going to do with the BM-21s that they are now driving towards Sirte. That's an indiscriminate area fire weapon. If anything will cause unintended civilian casualties, it's that system.

The Twisted Genius

A note on logistics... the rebels' pickup trucks burn a lot less fuel that Qathafi's T-72s.

The Twisted Genius

"Am I concerned about an Islamist "takeover" in Libya? No. "

IMHO the fact that all these uprisings are taking place without any meaningful Al Qaeda influence is Bin Laden's worst nightmare.

Patrick Lang

TTG

I've been thinking A-10s myself. I used to like to shoot 81mm. mortar in the direct fire mode using the sight and the and the charge table but even that is beyond these people and probably not worth taking the time to teach them so long as you have this much air fire support. pl

dh

Good thinking Fred. I guess they can always beg for mercy.

 Charles I

TTG & PL, I bleeding heart civvy have been calling for A-10's from the outset of our discussions.

I think there are FAC's in place designating/lasing targets now. Canadian F-18's on urban bombing runs reportedly aborted due to civilian presence. So far anything outside city limits seemed fairly indiscriminate fair game.

DanM

The rebels have lots of mortars. Praises to be god, they haven't tried to use them much yet. Lots of missiles too. Hopefully they won't be unleashed on sirte.

Patrick Lang

DanM

I suppose you mean 122mm. artillery rockets in "Stalin Organ" style on trucks. I have seen some of those. These are very much an "area" weapon and best not used by thse guys unless they have something the size of a Manhattan city block to shoot at. 60 or 81 mm. mortars are excellent weapons and quite accurate if you know what to do with them. pl

Thomas

Saw a video yesterday of the Benghazis loading up on brand new RPGs.

Qathafi has spent his time insulting everyone in the Arab world. Now its payback.

As for dh's concern about revenge, the UAE could provide them a couple apartment blocs in Dubai if their willing to end the conflict.

DanM

Col,

Exactly, the grads (at least that's what they call them). As for the mortars, the "know what to do with them" part is what scares me. I have been terrified 3 times while here, all of them amid very celebrating rebels spraying full auto "happy fire" bullets into the air rambo style (one hand on the rifle), their mates working the bolts with their fingers inside the guards as they rush to join in. Then of course there's the endless eruptions of RPGs into the sky to admire the pretty puffs of black smoke they produce.

I'm friendly with "smudge," the CNN security adviser here. The other day he cracked, and tried to conduct an impromptu safety seminar with some of the shabaab. He didn't get very far.

There are clearly some people with training about, and hopefully they've managed to get control over most of the rockets and mortars, but not so I can tell.

Patrick Lang

DanM

Hang back a bit. They have no idea what they are doing. pl

dh

Not too worried about Moammar and his immediate family Thomas. They probably have a private jet ready to go. But there must be thousands of tribal members and other civilians in Western Libya who benefited from his rule. Will NATO protect them?

The Twisted Genius

DanM,

I can't for the life of me understand the thrill of celebratory gunfire. I guess everyone thinks those rounds just go into orbit or something. Whenever we were in the presence of such celebrations, my team would very discreetly duck under some overhead cover if available.

I always thought those light vehicle mounted 106 recoiless rifles were perfect weapons for the rebels. Have you seen anybody get caught in the backblast of one of those things? If their lucky, they'll just have red faces and no eyebrows.

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