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Meanwhile, In Libya...


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Far as I can tell, the US State Department follows the UN position that the GNA is the part of the legitimate government, but Trump has personally reached out to the leader of the LNA with a phone call. Other than that I am not sure.

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The MIGs may simply be there to provide top cover and reassurances for the Wagner people, and their political benefactors at home.

 

Sucking away a few Turkish Air Force F-16s is not going to hurt it much.

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So the UN supports the GNA, and Turkey,Qatar is siding with them. Russia is siding with the LNA along with UAE and Egypt along with tact support from Trump, France. Italy seem to be remaining neutral. Do I have it right?

LNA - UAE, Egypt, France, Russia, US (silent)

GNA - Turkey, Italy, UN recognized

France and Italy are more "behind the scenes", probably providing intel and monetary support.

Edited by bojan
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The MIGs may simply be there to provide top cover and reassurances for the Wagner people, and their political benefactors at home.

 

Sucking away a few Turkish Air Force F-16s is not going to hurt it much.

It strikes me that Its like the Syrian S400 battery. Its there to plant a flag in the sand and say 'hands off'. It may be militarily useless, but politically, its got some value. And if we dont respond, they have opened themselves up to the possibility of deploying more..

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The Drive has some more pictures of the MiG-29s and Su-24s passing through Russia's Khmeimim airbase in Syria whilst en route to Libya.

 

BTW, Al Jufra Airbase in Libya, where the MiG-29 was spotted, is worth a look on Google Earth. A dusty place in the middle of the desert with airframes and wrecks of various types scattered over the place (MiG-25s, Tu-22s, An-26, Il-76). Some of the main buildings appear to have holes in their roofs.

Edited by Daan
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Interesting also that the four Russian Su-24s have been spotted in Al-Kadim Airbase in NE Libya instead of Al-Jufra.

 

E6BRbU2.jpg

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I don't particularly have a horse in this race, and I'm surprised the Russians do. What's Libya to them?

 

Same as everyone else, oil. Either control it or take out a competitor.

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Just one more play in the great game of 'Get your filthy hands off my Desert!'.

 

And I think, Russia was really freaked at Gaddafi being removed. They have to demonstrate that regime change never works, just so nobody ever tries it again in Russia. I dont think either motive is mutually exclusive here.

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I don't particularly have a horse in this race, and I'm surprised the Russians do. What's Libya to them?

 

Same as everyone else, oil. Either control it or take out a competitor.

Having natural oil reserves can be such a curse.

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And I think, Russia was really freaked at Gaddafi being removed. They have to demonstrate that regime change never works, just so nobody ever tries it again in Russia. I dont think either motive is mutually exclusive here.Gadd

 

Gaddafi gave up WMD and proclaimed friendship with the West. See where it got him...

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Just one more play in the great game of 'Get your filthy hands off my Desert!'.

 

And I think, Russia was really freaked at Gaddafi being removed. They have to demonstrate that regime change never works, just so nobody ever tries it again in Russia. I dont think either motive is mutually exclusive here.

 

Removing Gaddafi was an error that was apparent even at the time because he had demolished the structures of the Lybian state as they were and relied on governing through the different tribes, so a civil war was inevitable. Russia had nothing to do with that and is just trying to pick up some pieces of the wreck opportunistically.

Edited by RETAC21
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I don't particularly have a horse in this race, and I'm surprised the Russians do. What's Libya to them?

Same as everyone else, oil. Either control it or take out a competitor.

Having natural oil reserves can be such a curse.

 

 

It usually is, only Norway was smart enough to mess itself up

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Just one more play in the great game of 'Get your filthy hands off my Desert!'.

 

And I think, Russia was really freaked at Gaddafi being removed. They have to demonstrate that regime change never works, just so nobody ever tries it again in Russia. I dont think either motive is mutually exclusive here.

 

Removing Gaddafi was an error that was apparent even at the time because he had demolished the structures of the Lybian state as they were and relied on governing through the different tribes, so a civil war was inevitable. Russia had nothing to do with that and is just trying to pick up some pieces of the wreck opportunistically.

 

I completely agree. Im of the opinion if your military action wont make the situation better, why do it? It was just Cameron and Sarkozy trying to make their name by acting butch. I thought it a mistake at the time and still do.

 

Russia had nothing to do with it, other than itself being an inheritor to the Soviet Union's mistakes and supporting Gadaffi, a terrorist supporting lunatic, through to the end of the cold war. They cant escape the blame of being part of the problem, anymore than apparently they can resist still being part of it. If Russian support for a faction isnt going to make the problem better, than why do it? Its no different from what we were doing back in 2012.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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And I think, Russia was really freaked at Gaddafi being removed. They have to demonstrate that regime change never works, just so nobody ever tries it again in Russia. I dont think either motive is mutually exclusive here.Gadd

 

Gaddafi gave up WMD and proclaimed friendship with the West. See where it got him...

 

Yes, but he didnt have a viable WMD program, after the US had bombed the Al Rabtah chemical plant. It was easy to give up something that was stillborn, in exchange for close relationship with the west.

 

And lets not pretend that whilst that relationship lasted, it was real. There are some reports that MI6 was present at the interrogation of AQ supporters in Libya, and we supported rendition of regime enemies back to Libya. Unproven, but I personally believe it.

 

2012 was an act of blatant opportunism by truly stupid people. I cant and wont defend it. But It doesn't mean that Russia's subsequent action's in the middle east have been any better, and shouldn't be categorized as such.

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They had quite a bit of things. Centrifuges that were used for developing stuxnet came from Libya.

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It strikes me that Its like the Syrian S400 battery. Its there to plant a flag in the sand and say 'hands off'. It may be militarily useless, but politically, its got some value. And if we dont respond, they have opened themselves up to the possibility of deploying more..

 

There is something to be said for the political value of drawing superpower lines in the sand like this.

 

The Russians may be writing off the MIG deployment as the cost equivalent of an extended training/data harvesting exercise as well.

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The Israeli company ImageSat also released some imagery of the recent activity in Al Jufra airbase in the Libyan desert:

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qluEwLW.jpg

 

76xjxUU.jpg

 

g8yozww.jpg

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They had quite a bit of things. Centrifuges that were used for developing stuxnet came from Libya.

Equipment he certainly had. But I dont recall seeing any evidence of an actually ongoing WMD program, whether Nuclear or Chemical. I'm not aware of any concerns to that end since 1989 when the chemical plant blew up.

 

 

It strikes me that Its like the Syrian S400 battery. Its there to plant a flag in the sand and say 'hands off'. It may be militarily useless, but politically, its got some value. And if we dont respond, they have opened themselves up to the possibility of deploying more..

 

There is something to be said for the political value of drawing superpower lines in the sand like this.

 

The Russians may be writing off the MIG deployment as the cost equivalent of an extended training/data harvesting exercise as well.

 

They may be sounding us out. Place 6 semi obsolescent fighters, and wait to see if someone blows them up. If they dont, send in some more troops and a couple of squadrons and scale up from there. Who knows, maybe it is just a first step to see if we freak out about it. And if we dont, scale up from there.

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The Russian doctrine looks the same as in Syria, minus the S-400. If it's a half dozen MIG-29's, that's a substantially less costly investment than the planes sent to Syria, so I think you might be right that they're only sending what they can afford to lose to drone attacks. Which is why it's MIG-29's and not SU-34's.

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I think they person the Russians are playing chicken with is 'Just The Tayyip', not the West. If anyone is going to overtly react to Russian jets being present, it will be the Turks. I would assume drones would be used if the Turks went that way, but F-16's could easily stage out that far with in flight refueling or a light load.

Edited by Josh
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