Tripoli – Part II



America is at war on three front’s folks. Stated goal for this second American war with the folks in Libya is to protect civilians from Brother Gadhafi and his boys. * Lots of naval vessels, airplanes, fuel of all types, armaments and munitions, other logistics items and highly trained young folks are waging war against the Libyan horde.

News Flash:

“Mission creep, mission gets bigger and bigger and bigger. We take out some of their tanks and heavy artillery does that give the rebels a chance? Do we help Bahrain and Saudi Arabia? … If we engage with just Tomahawks from submarines and a no fly zone can we stop slaughter on the ground?” (Fox News, March 19, 2011)

Means, “How big can this thing get?”

News Flash:

U.S., Allies to Enforce U.N. Security Resolution on Libya: By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2011 – The United States military will work with NATO and Arab League allies to stop Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi from killing his own people, President Barack Obama said here today.
Yesterday, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution that demands an end to the violence against Libya’s citizens.
The resolution “authorizes the use of force, with an explicit commitment to pursue all necessary measures to stop the killing, to include the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya,” Obama said at the White House.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 lays out clear conditions that Gadhafi must meet if he wants to avoid military consequences, the president said.
“The United States, the United Kingdom, France and Arab states agree that a cease-fire must be implemented immediately,” Obama said. “That means all attacks against civilians must stop.”
The Libyan ruler’s troops must stop advancing on Benghazi and pull back from Adjadbiya, Misrata and Zawiya, Obama said. And, Gadhafi must allow the movement of water, electricity and gas supplies into all areas of Libya. (

Means, “Somebody screwed up, military consequences are under way in Libya already. Loyalists can not now avoid military consequences as they are now in progress.”

News Flash:

Sixty-five percent of Americans oppose military action in Libya. (Fox News March 19, 2011)

Means, “Once again we at war without the will of the people behind the effort. American Military Personnel are in battle on a 3rd front without total support.” Also, “no military effort to destroy and defeat the enemy. Air space will be denied the enemy”. O.K. No real effort to take all the bad guys to the cemetery. Bad move from a military point of view!

News Flash:

Pentagon Briefing – Bullet Items included:
… Leading edge of coalition forces
Coalition Goals Include:
…Prevent further attack on Libyan citizens especially around Benghazi
… Degrade Libyan efforts to launch air strikes and attack coalition aircraft
… Shape the battlescape
… Force will not be used to go beyond well-defined goal to protect citizens in Libya
… 110 – 112 Tomahawk Cruise missiles, early warning sites, command and control and early warning systems (Fox News March 19, 2011)
…We are in the first phase of a multi-phase operation (Fox News March 19, 2011)

Means, “Situation is developing. We are implementing our battle plans as directed within the limitations placed on us by civilians.”

News Flash:

…U.S. is in command … at some point command will transfer to someone else (MSNBC March 19, 2011)

Means, “Unclear. The United States has the command and control assets to bring forces of different nations under one command structure. Engaged and support forces may come under an overall NATO Command structure supported by United States assets.”


An airplane or naval vessel can kill folks, destroy property and create a lotta stress and difficulty for the proverbial bad guy. Airplanes and naval vessels have an important and very limiting military issue. No airplane or naval vessel can take and hold ground. Occupying enemy ground requires tanks, artillery, infantry and a logistics support system. Loyalist forces in Libya have an excellent knowledge of coalition order of battle. They know the threat forces arrayed against them and the battle capabilities of those forces.

The stated goal of the No Fly Zone over Libya is to stop the killing of civilians. It has already failed. Delay of military action equals benefit to the enemy. Delay of military action leaves the initiative to the enemy. The enemy chooses the time, place and conditions of battle. These benefits provide the enemy with the capability to influence all the advantages of implementing military tactics and forces on the battlefield. Loyalist forces have had the advantage of taking action. Coalition air and naval forces will degrade their ability to move assets and troops around the battlefield. Forces identified as Rebels will be able to use Coalition attacks as cover for battle tactics. A major limiting factor for the Rebels is loss of equipment and personnel, close proximity of Loyalist forces and lack of armor, artillery and command and control system. Close in Loyalist forces prevent Coalition air assets from destroying Loyalist targets.

Loyalist forces have had control of the battlefield. Rebels are challenged to counter the Loyalist gains and tactics. The military situation in Libya is very fluid and changing by the hour.

Other countries have made commitments to this new war. Consider Denmark and Canada news releases.

News Flash:

Foreign minister promises four fighter jets and 90 crew for Libyan no-fly zone
Lene Espersen, the foreign minister, told parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday that the Air Force is preparing four F-16 fighter jets to take part in an internationally-backed no-fly zone over Libya, should Nato high command decide to act. (The Copenhagen Post online)

News Flash:

Canada joins UN coalition aerial mission on Libya
Harper notes action amounts to a necessary ‘act of war’ on Libya (By Mark Kennedy, Post Media News, March 19, 2011)
PARIS — As the international community launched aerial military missions against Libya on Saturday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the action amounts to an “act of war” that is critical to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power before he massacres any more of his own people.
Harper made the comments after an emergency summit of world leaders who had gathered to discuss how they will implement a United Nations-sanctioned no-fly zone to prevent Gadhafi’s suppression of civilians.
The coalition wasted no time, with French jets becoming the first, on Saturday, to begin enforcing the no-fly zone.
It was the first step in the largest international military exercise in the Arab world since the Iraq war. (Ottawa Citizen, March 19, 2011)

Britain, France, Italy, Greece and other nations have employed or will employ military assets in the current campaign against Libya. How long will the current war go on? My view is we are in this for the long term. The military situation will stabilize. Loyalist forces in Libya have made steady gains up to and including today. They are reported to be attacking Rebels in Benghazi – the last major city held by them. As the situation stabilizes, Loyalist will be effectively in control of most of Libya. The goal of the current war is to stop killing the innocent. Success? Remains to be seen. I am not optimistic. The madman of Libya will butcher many more civilians – before the free world says enough and has this modern day criminal killed and ends the war. When? – In the military we call this an “unresolved issue”. This could be a very long war with extensive civilian dead, wounded and maimed. .

Dale R. Suiter
Atlanta Michigan
March 19, 2011

*Early in the 19th century, America did a “…to the shores of Tripoli…” event in Libya. The current war in Libya is Americas 2nd war in Libya.


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Dale R. Suiter served in the United States Marine Corps June 1966 - February - 1970. He served with Ammo Company First FSR, 2nd CAG Q-6 and Q-3, H&S 81's 3/9 and 1/3. His service "On the Rock" was with Ordanance Schools, Camp Hansen. Following the Marine Corp, he completed a career in public service - prison and jail operations. In addition, he completed a career as a reserve officer with the Michigan Army National Guard. His two sons and two sons-in-law are veterans of the war on terror. The family continues in service to the United States of America.