Arab League Requests UNSC to Impose No-Fly Zone

The Arab League has indeed called for the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. It is also moving to recognize the provisional government in Benghazi, and has delisted Qaddafi’s government in Tripoli from the League.

This action is the most decisive the League has taken since it called for a rollback of Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait in 1990 and authorized League members to join the coalition of George H.W. Bush in pushing Iraq back out.

Amr Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, is rumored to be planning a run for president of Egypt in the elections scheduled for September; he led the charge on getting this resolution.

Although the Arab League has no real teeth, that its members have turned so decisively against Qaddafi does suggest that he may have difficulty surviving, in a world where he is diplomatically isolated both in Europe and in the Arab world.

13 Responses

  1. Would it be unconscionably cynical to wonder if they approved this unanimously because they KNEW the UN Security Council will never approve NATO action?

    With all the arms we’ve sold some of these countries, and all the advice and training we’ve given their militaries … why do they “need” NATO to do this again? (Not that I particularly want to risk some regional world war equivalent.)

  2. It is not unanimous so technically not binding …

    The decision was adopted by nine of the 11 foreign ministers attending the meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo, with Algeria and Syria voting against, a diplomat said. (SkyNews)

    • All the news sources are saying that the Arab League decision was unanimous in the end.

      • Juan wrote: “All the news sources are saying that the Arab League decision was unanimous in the end.”

        Citation?

        “The Arab League vote for a no-fly zone was opposed only by Syria and Algeria, reports from the Cairo meeting said.”

        link to bbc.co.uk

  3. I remember when there was a no fly zone over Iraq, there were almost weekly reports of the fighter jets, enforcing the zone, attacking ground targets. Would the enforcement aircraft, and the commanders controlling them, have the self discipline to, say, refrain from hitting a Qaddafi tank column heading towards the rebels?

    Implementing a no fly zone during an active war would clearly make us a military ally of the rebels – and on our way to another “pottery barn” episode.

    Purely hypothetical, but would taking sides with the rebels in Libya mean that we would take a similar a similar position if mayhem broke out in Saudi Arabia? My guess is that we’d find some way to keep the Royal Family in control and out of danger.

  4. I’m sorry, this is off topic but what is the word in Yemen? I received a text from a friend saying that live ammunition and “nerve gas” is being used on the protesters. I can’t overstate my inability to confirm this but maybe someone can point me in the right direction for reputable reportage. Thanks.

  5. The military necessity is clearly to neutralize Qaddafi’s advantage in machinery — airplanes, tanks, ships. NFZ is a kind of metaphor for that.

    Don’t the members of the Arab League themselves have sufficient forces of the right kind to do something useful on their own hook?

    • @Hquain “Don’t the members of the Arab League themselves have sufficient forces of the right kind to do something useful on their own hook?

      I’m sure they do mate. And I’m sure they could if a) they wanted to and b) if they were allowed to

      I have the suspicion that US/NATO would rather they didn’t do something off their own hook. If they did that then the raison d’etre of NATO would be blown out of the water.

      The idea of everyone policing their own neighbourhood is an anathema to NATO, just think of all the high-pay jobs that would disappear in Brussels.

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