Don’t expect an open explanation of the strategy. What good is a public announcement from the battlements? Or a nationally broadcast speech? Make no mistake – the endgame is that someone – maybe not foreigners on the ground – ousts Gaddafi.
One week after the U.S.-organized attack on Gaddafi, rebels are no longer holed up and surrounded in Benghazi. No accident, and the reverse in fortune is not just the result of the no-fly zone. You can bet that American, British, French, even Italian intelligence operatives are the covert alliance in this story—providing support, training, tactical help – maybe even covert operatives – to rally the opposition to Gaddafi on the ground.
Here’s Pat Lang, a retired former senior officer with U.S. military intelligence:
“Someone has gotten the rebels up off their haunches and headed back to the west. Who that someone might be is, at this point, a bit of a mystery. The passage of time will undoubtedly clarify that point.”
“Qathafi’s ‘forces’ are extremely brittle. They have already begun to run from air attacks or even the sound of aircraft, abandoning their equipment and supplies as they flee in civilian vehicles. It is not necessary to arm or supply the rebels. Qathafi’s disintegrating forces will provide the needed materiel as they withdraw.
“As the rebels approach Tripoli the populace will rise again. How long will all this take? As I have written elsewhere, an outside estimate of six months is reasonable. The actuality may be a considerably shorter departure date for Qathafi.”
It’s obvious. How does an amateur, amorphous, largely unknown Libyan rebel force suddenly start capturing territory and move into the oil-rich heartland of the country? With a little well-placed “encouragement.”
It wouldn’t also be surprising that Obama’s ardent detractors have gotten the word.
Listen to John McCain, who early on lashed out at the president when he held fire until a U.N.-backed coalition was in place. McCain would be happy to appeal to the tea-bagging set, but instead his message on Fox News over the weekend was effusive support:
“The fact is that Gadaffi said he’d go house to house and kill people, and thankfully at the 11th hour with the quote-unquote ‘no fly zone,’ we prevented that,” McCain said. “This is a moment of historic proportions, and this will give us a moment of opportunity to help with the spread of democracy.”
No doubt McCain, Boehner and others will have received the secret briefing: Western intelligence is engaged, helping the rebels, driving Gaddafi from office, sooner or later.
You may not hear about it on the talk shows, not yet. But stay tuned.