Prior to the recent U.N. Security Council meeting, we heard a lot of talk about a "no fly zone" over Libya. The idea seemed to be that, similar to the northern and southern Iraqi no fly zones during the 1990s, the advocates would shoot down any Libyan planes. It was understood that they'd also have to take out air defenses so their own planes wouldn't be shot down. The theory in Iraq was that by suppressing the central government's air superiority, uprisings that had popular support would succeed.
Last week, after the Arab League came out in favor of a no fly zone, the Security Council passed a resolution. However, it went a bit further than a "no fly zone"; it allowed anything short of invasion.
Just how big a difference that is is now being seen. Instead of surgical attacks on the air force and air defenses, we're seeing wholesale attacks on ground forces and on arguably nonmilitary targets such as the presidential palace. It goes well beyond what the Arab League was envisioning, apparently well beyond what the Russians and Chinese thought they were abstaining from vetoing, and well beyond the idea of letting the Libyans settle their internal differences without the effect of an air force.
This may mark the emergence of the E.U. as a military power. Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia, anyone?
So, I've read that this operation is under the control of France and the UK. Is that right? How much of the forces are US? I also read that they were using F15's and F16's. Where are they flying them from?
It seems they pulled the plans for Yugoslavia when they were reaching for Iraq (Bill Clinton version).