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German support for Libya no-fly zone grows

The Local · 9 Mar 2011, 07:39

Published: 09 Mar 2011 07:39 GMT+01:00

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"If crimes against humanity are conclusively proven, I call for the establishment of no-fly zone over Libya to protect the civil population there," Burkhardt Müller-Sönksen, a member of the parliamentary defence committee for the Free Democrats, told the daily Bild.

However, he and Henning Otte, a defence policy point man for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats , both said imposing a no-fly zone should be done only within the framework of a United Nations mandate.

On the other side of the political spectrum, support is also growing. Centre-left Social Democratic political spokesman Rainer Arnold said a no-fly zone might be necessary, but warned of possible consequences.

"A no-fly zone is good, but imposing one could set off a military conflict that might cause more harm than good," he said.

For the Greens, a no-fly zone is a reasonable tool to use in response to the ongoing violence in Libya, but it should be used only if the United Nations Security Council, the Arab League and the African Union have all agreed to it.

"Only then would an intervention not be seen as a western attack on Islam," said Omid Nouripour, a Green Party member of the defence committee.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, leader of the Free Democrats, has called for a careful consideration of a no-fly zone, although he told the Wednesday edition of the Straubinger Tagblatt that he rejected imposing a flight ban without a UN mandate.

He said Germany must be careful not to be drawn into a military conflict.

Story continues below…


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Your comments about this article

08:46 March 9, 2011 by Ami-in-Germany
I think a no-fly zone is somewhat overrated. Most air to ground sorties such as those being conducted in Libya, against the uprising forces, are done with helicopters, not fighters. Although there are also fighter jets involved, the ratio in their usage doesn't warrant a traditional "no-fly zone" concept. IF...it were to be done, then with fitting and appropriate means. I.e. a fleet of attack choppers, a handful of jets and not the other way around. I'm just curious to know how Mr. Ote defines; "A no-fly zone is good, but imposing one could set off a military conflict that might cause more harm than good," ...huh???
08:52 March 9, 2011 by catjones
German Plan B = No Train Zone.
09:13 March 9, 2011 by freechoice
DId UN security council support the use of Predator and issues death penalty from the skies over Afghanistan and Iraq?
09:26 March 9, 2011 by The-ex-pat
All this talk of no fly zone is just talk. It will be handbagged out so long that it will become a mute point. General Graffiti will be back in power, the rebels slaughtered and the West saying "We can't understand what went wrong"

However, the question is;

Stable dictatorship, or Iraq and Afghanistan?????
12:53 March 9, 2011 by jbaker
Use the Force,Luke Skywalker. Use the Force!
13:48 March 9, 2011 by Ebolter
Funny thing is, all these countries that are calling for a 'No fly zone ', will be sitting on the sidelines,while asking the US to take over the lead role . Sorry to the rest of the world, but we are tired of war too , you want to step up , feel free . Best of luck .
14:28 March 9, 2011 by Jerr-Berlin
Ebolter...right on...this game's over (or should be)

recommend reading Chalmers Johnson's "Dismantling the Empire"

15:13 March 9, 2011 by Frenemy
Imposing a "no fly zone" would at best be completely useless, and at worst could be potentially catastrophic.

Firstly, Gadhafi has been keeping the rebels at bay primarily through the effective use of ground forces and a no fly zone is not gonna change that (whats left of his "air force" is barely being used at all).

Secondly, implementing a no fly zone will first require suppression/destruction of enemy air defenses (SEAD/DEAD missions), which will likely be achieved with HARM missiles. All Gadhafi would have to do is put his AA in population centers, or put guys with MANPADS on the roofs of schools and you've got yourself some serious collateral damage and international outrage.
15:16 March 9, 2011 by michael4096
"Stable dictatorship" - oxymoron
16:00 March 9, 2011 by wenddiver
@Frenemy- Excellent Technical Points. Very solid reality based hinking.

@Everybody Else-

1. He has no weapons of Mass Destruction, since he already turned them over.

2. Although he prevously committed acts o international agression, he seems to be living by international norms nowdays. No incursion into other countries, no support for terror.

3. He is the recognized government, the otherside is a guerilla group, which has refused to announce to the world what it's agenda is. Until we know if they are Radical Islamists your not going to get much support from Joe Lunch Box in the US, no matter what the President says.

4. The UN can't agree on the color of Urine. Just like when the wanted to take out another Dictator who attacked his neighbors, started huge wars, committed genocide on his own people, used weapons of mass destruction (Poison Gas), threatened Allied and US Forces daily, etc, etc, etc, they will do nothing, because Russia and China are on the Security council.

5. France, Russia and Germany supported the man for years!

6. The US probably won't participate. It is our turn to scream no blood for oil and call your leaders war criminals, if we are so low.
16:10 March 9, 2011 by Johnne
:-)) wow..oil thirst at work again hihihihi!!! hahahah!!
20:11 March 9, 2011 by Beachrider
I don't know what is running in Europe's TV news, but CBS/ABC/NBC et al are showing the rebel-problems with their very-ineffective AA cover. The rebels are apparently able to hold the roads, but unable to cover helicopter attacks or air-coordinated artillery. I don't really know the COUNT of these situations, but they are showing them.

I agree that this is in interesting situation where the USA is not directly affected by Libyan instability, but Germany, Italy and France are directly affected. There is PLENTY of irony in that problem-resolution.

Given the heavy diversion of scarce air-cargo resources, helicopter resources, cruise missile resources and unpiloted aircraft resource in striking range of Libya, it is hard to imagine a sustainable NATO force in Libya without American cooperation.
20:36 March 9, 2011 by Major B
Wenddiver is right -- NO U.S. participation in military ops, even a no-fly zone.

If that needs to be done, then the folks well North of Libya, who use most of that oil, should organize it. Better yet, if the attacks against the rebellion has you all that fired up, take to the streets and lobby your governments.( while ignoring even worse population suppression elsewhere)

Considering Freenemy's points, am doubting the effectiveness of "no-fly zones" now.

NO U.S. involvement!!!!!! U.S. doesn't need to LEAD that discussion!!!! Maybe Berlusconni(ha)

Does the WEU still exist?
03:18 March 10, 2011 by AARGH
I think it is great that support for a no fly-zone is growing. The more countries that support it means that it will have legitimacy.

It would be great if China and Russia came on board; maybe they will if we go thru the proper channels.
04:26 March 10, 2011 by wenddiver
@AARGH- I think Russia's position is that they sell you (Germany) Oil and Gas. If a large Civil War developes in Libiya they are going to sell one hell of a lot of Weaponry, since the West won't sell to Qadaffi. This will be paid for with Oil Contracts, since the West has stopped providing any Arms and froze his accounts. The insurgents and at this stage they are insurgents, because they have not formed a government or even said what they are in favor of. As the scenario plays out Russia controls the oil and gas they provide Europe and the oil and gas Libiya provides Europe.

China would love to replace Russia as the Arms dealer and very well might in an unstable situation like this, but I doubt if it wants to face off with the US when economically keeping the US sleeping helps it in so many ways.

Either way Germany, thanks to following the French line in the UN debates on Iraq is in the unhappy position of having to ask it's big US brother for an intervention, against what they previously said was the UN standard (that the US needs security Council permission to go to war) or have a big chunk of it's oil supply controled by it's enemies. I doubt if telling Qadaffi they weren't going to pay for oil will be seen as a very smart diplomatic move. Good luck though, because I don't think that the US is going to war for an unknon Muslim cause.
05:15 March 10, 2011 by Major B
No U.S. involvement. Nada. None. Period. Are you crazy?

After years of being demonized and having it's long and proud international image tarnished and sullied over Iraq, most of us won't stand for direct U.S. military involvement. Many are still angry over the Iraq mistake. And criticism from the mother continent over Iraq was harsh and vociferous. You have the ball now.

So now there is another crisis in the Middle East. Turns out, muslims from North Africa to Irans said, well, dictators can fall, and in an instant a suppressed majority can see their roles reversed.(Iraq)

So, if there needs to be some type of intervention, it will not be done by the U.S. I have to take the honorable Sec Gates at his word and, although he well knows what is going on, I can't believe he will recommend direct involvement to the U.S. President. Not after what we've gone through and still have to do in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Not after Bosnia, and Kosovo. Nope.

A "Coalition of The Cousins" needs to stand tall and lead

for once!!!!!!!!!
14:12 March 10, 2011 by michaelhol
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:24 March 10, 2011 by tallady
By all and any means let the Euros deal with Libya,,no to USA involvement.,not our problem....
22:29 March 11, 2011 by wenddiver
I haven't seen a single American that wants to get involved in this mess on this sight, am I wrong???? Somebody tell our President to shut up, if he wants to send somebody, send his own kids. None of our business. If there was no oil France and Europe wouldn't care either. I say stand on the side and sell weapons to who ever has cash.

Two days after we spend Billions to help them, their kids will be plotting to kill ours.
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