Libya: A no-fly zone would require considerable Western air power
Reporting from Washington —
Although White House and European leaders have repeatedly threatened to establish a no-fly zone over Libya, such a complex operation could require hundreds of aircraft and a bombing campaign to neutralize the country’s air defense system, current and retired U.S. military officers say.
Libya’s military is considered no match for those of the U.S. and its allies, but it would take a large-scale Western effort to establish round-the-clock patrols over Libyan airspace to deter further attacks on rebels, the U.S. officers said.
“This is all doable,” retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael M. Dunn, former vice director for strategic plans and policy for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, said of creating a no-fly zone.
But “the simple fact of the matter is that it’s not simple,” he said.
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