Chronology: LibyaAug 21st, 2011 | By Justin Long | | Print This Post |
Just a few weeks ago, WIRED’s Danger Room notes dryly, many observers thought the campaign in Libya was going nowhere. I will freely admit to being one of those who thought the likelihood of a long, drawn-out battle and the effective partitioning of Libya was the most likely scenario. Even when they captured Zawiya, my early thought was that capturing Tripoli would take days but then revised my opinion based on analysis elsewhere to think that it would take weeks. In retrospect, I seriously should have gone with my gut call. Next time I’ll be bolder (and I thought I was being bold!).
Part of the problem: many seriously underestimated how much of a force multiplier reconnaissance and air power can be. US recon drones, missiles, airstrikes (nearly 20,000 of them) helped pave the way for the admittedly underarmed and undertrained rebels. There is a lesson in this: technology may be perilous and is not the silver bullet (as Twitter and the Iranian Green Revolution showed), but the right tech (and, in conflict, weapons) at the right time can certainly bring about ‘superempowerment.’
So, what happened? This post will contain an updated chronology of what happened in Libya from start to finish, as I compile it from various sources. For my particular readership, what is happening now or even in the next few days is probably less instructive than how this came about and where it might lead in the next 6 months, year, and five years. And certainly, Libya’s future is fraught both with peril and opportunity.
23 Aug. Although the TNC said several of Gadafhi’s sons were arrested, it developed today that Saif al-Islam was never arrested and was in fact at large in Tripoli marshalling forces to attack, and Mohammed had escaped custody. There was still quite a bit of Tripoli under the control of those loyal to Gadhafi.
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