A Kinetic Military Action By Any Other Name

Oh look, they put lipstick on the Operation Odyssey Dawn Pig, like no one will notice.

NATO in Libya: ‘Unified Protector’ hides divisions

The codename for NATO’s operations in Libya, “Unified Protector”, hides internal divisions that the alliance battled hard to overcome before taking on the mission.

The 28-nation military organisation is finally fulfilling Washington’s wishes, replacing the United States at the helm of all operations in Libya and is expected to be fully up and running by Thursday.

But to get to this point, the alliance had to ease Turkish concerns about the scope of the bombing campaign against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and convince France that NATO should be in command of operations.

Germany was opposed to any military intervention from the outset, refusing to vote for the UN Security Council resolution that authorised “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians.

Despite the squabbles, NATO is enforcing an arms embargo and a no-fly zone, and it finally agreed on Sunday to take over the riskiest mission: preventing Gaddafi loyalists from massacring the population.

See also:
NATO Assumes Command of Libya Operations
Nato takes over air war
NATO Operation Unified Protector against Libya Making Use of Greek Bases in Crete, the Peloponnese
NATO assumes full command of Libya operations
NATO takes control of Libya air operations
LIBYA: NATO assumes ‘sole command’ of coalition air operations
NATO Launches Operation Unified Protector & No Fly Zone Blockade
NATO takes charge of Libyan effort
NATO Assumes Full Command of Operations in Libya
Operation Unified Protector Factsheet
Operation Unified Protector

Dressing it up with a new name and putting a NATO fig leaf on the United States’ intervention in the Libyan civil war doesn’t hide the fact that Obama totally owns this kinetic military action and, so far, it’s not going well at all. The “rebels” Obama has decided to back in this all Libyan conflict are infused with al Qaeda and they can’t fight worth [expletive deleted]. If it weren’t for a highly publicized display of inept confusion, we’d have nothing to show for our efforts to date.

/watch out for Obama’s Runnin’ Rebels, retreating soon to a city or town near you!

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Impasse On The Ivory Coast

Here we have another example of where an election was held and the loser refuses to give up power peacefully.

African Presidents Urge Gbagbo to Resign

Three African heads of state are in Abidjan, on behalf of West African regional bloc ECOWAS, to urge incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, to step down and bring a peaceful end to a violent, month-long, political power struggle.

It has now been a month since Ivory Coast’s November 28 presidential runoff that was meant to mark an end to more than a decade of internal division in the post-conflict country, but has instead led to a tense political showdown that the United Nations says has killed more than 170 people.

The presidents of Benin, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde are set to meet with incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, in Abidjan Tuesday to deliver an ECOWAS ultimatum: Gbagbo can step down peacefully or face removal by force.

. . .

The United Nations and much of the international community say challenger Alassane Ouattara won the presidential election.

. . .

Original electoral commission results said Ouattara won the poll with 54 percent of votes. The constitutional court, led by a Gbagbo ally, then annulled 10 percent of ballots as fraudulent and proclaimed Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent of votes.

. . .

ECOWAS has threatened a military intervention if Gbagbo refuses to step down, but some analysts doubt whether West African nations have the operational capability, manpower or political will for such an effort and worry that any attempt at a forceful removal could trigger open conflict.

Gbagbo has warned any attempt to remove him by force could reignite civil war.

See also:
African leaders meet with Gbagbo to deal with Ivory Coast crisis
Three West African presidents try to convince incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to step down
African Leaders Visit Ivory Coast to Pressure President Gbagbo to Quit
Ecowas pressures Gbagbo to step down, as refugees flee to Liberia
Ivory Coast’s incumbent president locked in crucial negotiations
Gbagbo defiant at African ultimatum
Ivory Coast Leader Insists He is Rightful President
News Analysis: Cote d’Ivoire at crossroads of war and peace
UN convoy attacked in Ivory Coast
UN says crowd attacked peacekeepers in Ivory Coast
Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
Cote d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire

Judging by the mutually exclusive stances of the two sides, it sure doesn’t look like there’s going to be a peaceful transition of power here.

/I hope I’m wrong, but I predict there will be blood

Turkey Trouble?

Ruh roh.


Arrest of top-brass generals deepens Turkey power struggle

The arrest of dozens of high-ranking military figures in Turkey over an alleged coup plan dating back seven years marks the latest episode of a power struggle between the Islamist-rooted government and the army, the bastion of the secular order, analysts said Tuesday.

In a massive swoop, anti-terror police Monday detained more than 40 people, including the former air force and navy chiefs, over a purported plan drawn up in 2003 to oust the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Until recently, such tough action was inconceivable against the military which has toppled four governments in 50 years and exercised significant clout in politics.

But recent reforms to align the country with the European Union, spearheaded by the AKP government, has reduced the influence of the once-mighty military.

Monday’s arrests constitute a “breaking point” in Turkish political history, said the liberal Taraf daily which exposed the alleged coup plan code-named “Operation Sledgehammer” last month.

“The republic is now changing. The era of ‘dictatorships’ is coming to an end. The coup plotters are being arrested and brought to justice,” wrote the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Ahmet Altan.

According to Taraf, “Operation Sledgehammer” called for the bombing of two mosques in Istanbul at prayer time and organizing attacks by soldiers disguised as Islamists against symbols of secularism.

The coup planners also allegedly plotted to escalate tensions with Greece to secure the downing of a Turkish plane in a dog-fight with Greek jets over the Aegean with the ultimate aim of showing the government as inept and justifying a military takeover.

The army has denied the exisence of “Operation Sledgehammer” and complained of a “smear campaign” amid a string of similar plots for a military takeover carried by the pro-government media.

Dozens of former officers, among them two retired generals, are already on trial over the so-called Ergenekon network, an alleged secularist-nationalist group accused of planning to foment unrest to pave the way for a military coup.

The probe was initially hailed as a success, but has since come under doubt with some suspects accusing police of fabricating evidence.

Government critics claim the coup allegations are a bid by the AKP to cripple the army and remove a major obstacle to a hidden agenda of transforming Turkey into an Islamic state.

Hugh Pope, a senior analyst specialising on Turkey at the International Crisis Group, expressed doubt there was a “witch hunt” against the army.

“Clearly, the judiciary is extremely serious and they would certainly not have taken so many high-profile people into custody unless they had an absolute certainty in their mind that this is a real case,” he said.

Pope acknowledged there was “uncomfortable evidence” of abuses in the judicial process against the alleged coup plotters, but underlined the investigation also represented “a process by which Turkey is establishing the supremacy of civilian authority” over military power.

Alexandre Toumarkine, a political scientist from the French Institute of Anatolia Studies, said the possibility of some limited form of military intervention in EU-candidate Turkey in the 21st-century was not pure fiction.

“The image of tanks in the streets carries such a heavy political cost that such a hypothesis is probably unthinkable,” he said.

Nevertheless, plans of more discreet military intervention aimed at “restructuring the political system in depth” have “germinated in the minds of quite a few people,” he added.

“We have the impression that they have reached such a level (of antagonism) that the army either accepts to withdraw from the political area or continues to prepare the destabilization of the current government to compel it to leave the scene.”

See also:
Turkey Arrests Military Officers in Alleged 2003 Plot
Officers detained over Turkey coup plan
Turkey arrests over 40 for plotting coup
Number of arrested generals in Turkey reached 50
51 military commanders arrested over Turkey coup plot
Turkey closer than ever to trying coup instigators
Turkey’s defence chiefs assess ‘serious’ coup plot arrests
Political tensions mount in Turkey over alleged coup plot
Army grilled on Turkey ‘coup plot’
Turkey army issues warning after ‘coup plot’ arrests
‘Sledgehammer’ inquiry divides Turkey
Arrests expose Turkish fault line
Turkey’s opposition leaders slam detention of military commanders
EU, US back ‘Sledgehammer’ investigation for Turkey’s democracy
A New Military Coup in Turkey Could Derail Protocols, Says Expert
Ruben Safrastyan: military coup unlikely in Turkey
Ruben Safrastyan: Events in Turkey may grow in to a military coup

/hmmm, Islamists versus Secularists, who to root for?