Norwegian jets in Libyan quagmire / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian jets in Libyan quagmire. Norway’s F-16s have flown so many missions to remove Colonel Gaddafi they are running out of bombs. Meanwhile, the campaign is dragging on and Defence Minister Grete Faremo is saying very little. Since 31 March, NATO-led planes have flown 8,304 sorties, including 3,175 what it terms ‘strike sorties’ intended “to identify and engage appropriate targets, but do not necessarily deploy munitions each time”. According to The Guardian, NATO figures reveal 800 targets have been hit. Nevertheless, Colonel Gaddafi appears to be still very much in power and there is a danger of a drawn out campaign.

libya, muammaral-gaddafi, nato, gretefaremo, operationunifiedprotector



The Foreigner Logo

The Foreigner is an online publication for English speakers living or who have an interest in Norway. Whether it’s a glimpse of news or entertainment you’re after, there’s no need to leave your linguistic armchair. You don’t need to cry over the demise of the English pages of Aftenposten.no, The Foreigner is here!

Norske nyheter på engelsk fra Norge. The Foreigner er en engelskspråklig internett avis for de som bor eller som er interessert i Norge.

Google+ Google+ Twitter Facebook RSS RSS



News Article

LATEST:

Norwegian jets in Libyan quagmire

Published on Thursday, 26th May, 2011 at 21:01 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 27th May 2011 at 15:44.

Norway’s F-16s have flown so many missions to remove Colonel Gaddafi they are running out of bombs. Meanwhile, the campaign is dragging on and Defence Minister Grete Faremo is saying very little.

F-16 pre take-off during Operation Unified Protector
F-16 pre take-off during Operation Unified Protector
Photo: Forsvarets mediesenter/Torbjørn Kjosvold


Restocking

Since 31 March, NATO-led planes have flown 8,304 sorties, including 3,175 what it terms ‘strike sorties’ intended “to identify and engage appropriate targets, but do not necessarily deploy munitions each time”.

According to The Guardian, NATO figures reveal 800 targets have been hit. Nevertheless, Colonel Gaddafi appears to be still very much in power and there is a danger of a drawn out campaign.

The Allies have not publicly admitted they wish to remove Gaddafi, but Aftenposten’s political editor, Harald Stanghelle, tells The Foreigner “it is obvious their goal is a regime change”, even though this would be a clear breach of UNSCR1973.

Norway, as one of six active countries, has dropped over 300 bombs on Libya, costing the taxpayer millions. For the first time since committing to the campaign, the military has to replenish its supplies. Norway has not deployed as many bombs since WWII.

“We have a sufficient stockpile of standard air-to-ground ordnance, but have, however, ordered a resupply of GPS guidance systems and one type of penetration bomb,” says Captain Eivind Byre at the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation.

As a NATO member it does not have any option than to continue as part of the operation, although Minister of Defence Grete Faremo has hinted the jets may be recalled at the end of this tour of duty.

Quiet on the African Front

The ministry, minister, and military refuse to divulge many more details for operational reasons, however. Harald Stanghelle views this as a problem for journalists.

“It is impossible to give a qualified answer about what is going on. As in any war, one has to be very sceptical to what information official sources issue,” he says.

When asked for a comment on how the operation is proceeding from a Norwegian point of view, all Deputy Minister Roger Ingebrigtsen, would say was “We think the results are good. We have protected the Libyan people. But the result is not optimal until the day Gaddafi stops attacking his own people.”

Opposite to Denmark’s openness about the Libyan operation, traditional Norwegian information policy has been very limited in scope.

“I believe there are two reasons for this long-standing policy of restrictive information sharing. Firstly, Norwegian armed forces are so few, that they are easy to identify, but it is also comfortable for the people responsible,” says Helge Lurås, advisor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).

This may change, though, according to Roger Ingebrigtsen.

“I welcome a debate about openness, and we will consider giving more frequent updates on the mission.”

Trine Skei Grande, leader of the Liberal Party (V), criticises both the minister and the armed forces.

“They should have shown more openness. It would have increased the understanding of how difficult a job the soldiers do like in Denmark.”

Helge Lurås thinks Norway is sinking into an inevitable dilemma, saying, “although Gaddafi’s days are numbered, weakening as more targets are hit, the longer it takes, the longer tribes feel insecure. The challenge is to avoid a civil war and violence after his fall.

“Norway’s proposed scale-back is a more advisable policy overall, but this won’t please other NATO countries. The quagmire could start sucking things in when Gaddafi falls,” he concludes.




Published on Thursday, 26th May, 2011 at 21:01 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 27th May 2011 at 15:44.

This post has the following tags: libya, muammaral-gaddafi, nato, gretefaremo, operationunifiedprotector.





  
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!