Thursday, March 31, 2011

Problems of supplying arms to rebels in Libya

Given the fairly bitter experience in the Afghan War in 1980-1989, to arm or not to arm the Libyan rebels is indeed a very difficult decision for the US, UK and France to make in a short while. The possibility of the weapons being stolen or seized and then sold in 'black' markets to criminals for profit is also real. Then there is the question of legality: whether the existing UNSC resolutions on Libya allow such a measure. Any imprudent move on this issue could come back to haunt the West for the next two or three decades even if the coalition succeeds in its immediate objective of ending Gaddafi's misrule throughout the land. To be sure, if no weapons are supplied, the Libyan rebels are likely to lose the war even though they may still be able to win a battle or two.