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The War Nerd / March 22, 2011

Libya’s newest fun park: Find the scorpion in the F-15 wreckage

A US F15E Strike Eagle went down over Libya today. Supposedly “equipment malfunction” brought it down. Also supposedly, both pilots are back in US hands. One was picked up by a V-22 Osprey from the Marine Corps, doing what it’s designed to do, fly in fast, land like a chopper and skedaddle. The other was rescued by “resistance fighters” and handed back to US forces. So aside from the fifty or sixty million we paid for the plane, all’s well—although this won’t do much for our “just one of the boys, not taking a leading role” PR story in Libya. Well, at least no American pilot’ll be making any of those bruised-face anti-imperialist videos you get from pilots whose chutes opened in enemy territory.

That’s one great thing about cruise missiles: you can torture one for a week and it still won’t apologize for bombing your peace-loving people. No propaganda value at all, beyond those weak shots of a local holding up a chunk of metal with USAF on it. When the last manned fighter goes out of production (which might be sooner than a lot of AF brass think, like about a month into the next really serious war), the Golden Age of Hollywood in terms of POW videos will be over, that happy time when budding directors from Hanoi to Baghdad would hiss at the leading man, “Pssst! Stop looking so bruised! More sincerity about how you’ve learned to love the Democratic Republic of the soundproofed basement with the uninsulated wires! Cut! Take 37!”

You might wonder, if you only follow the USAF during the playoffs, why there were two pilots, since the classic F-15 is a single-seat air superiority fighter. That’s because this was the ground-and-pound model, the E series, a followup designed to go deep into enemy territory on its own and hit ground targets. One of those classic u-turns you get in the wacky sleazy big money world of military procurement: the F-15 was supposed to be pure dogfight-er, absolutely not involved with anything happening down on the dirt. Then they decided they needed a fast all-weather interdiction plane, something that could go in at 2 am and fly through a hurricane to zap a hardened command bunker 300 miles behind enemy lines, and McDonnell Douglas locked the engineers in a room until they realized there was a lot of space in the original F-15 airframe for countermeasures, ground radar, targeting systems and all the air-to-ground trimmings. The F-15 was considered weirdly big for a single-seat fighter when the design first got passed around. So they added the gizmos and sold it to DoD. Amazing what you can do when billions are at stake and your program manager won’t let you go to the bathroom until you’ve come up with a viable design. Seriously, if people had any idea of how much money there is to be made once you’re in with the procurement officers, you’d take a bus to DC and run around outside the Pentagon with your arms out going “Nnnnrrrrr! Kpooush!” and giving out business cards with “I want to be your next interdiction fighter!” Just ask Duke Cunningham, c/o Federal Inmate Search.

It’s a little odd that an F-15E would have this mechanical failure over a war zone. It’s a reliable double-engine aircraft, fairly recent—last one produced in 2001. But I hope it’s true. Better that than think it was actually brought down by one of Qadaffi’s third cousins who gambled that the green button on his Stinger meant “fire,” and got it right. If it actually was at high altitude, like they say, then the Stinger explanation is unlikely. But just on general principles, I’ll wait a few days before I believe anything DoD says.

I’ve been having mixed feelings about Qadaffi since kidding him around yesterday. Like Sammy Maudlin getting serious, “Hey, I kid Muamar, I know, but…I love this guy.” You have to admire anybody who can stay in power for 42 years, especially when he looks like he has the attention span of a boxer puppy. You look at a picture of Stalin and you say, “Man’s got concentration.” Look at Muamar and you think, “Is he looking at a mirror? Is he checking out his new dashiki/boubou/Armani/fatigues/kaffiyeh?”

But he must have something going. Maybe it’s pure sweet ego. “Anyone who doesn’t love me doesn’t deserve to live.” That’s a quote from Qaddafi. I read that and for a second all I could think was, “I wish I felt like that!” No wonder the man seized power at age 28. He was probably throwing tantrums at age three because he couldn’t seize power yet.

Once you’ve read a few dozen generals’ biographies, you have to admit that an insane ego is an advantage, at least in the early stages of a military/political career. I guess that’s why everybody loves to think of Grant, schlumfing around in his enlisted man’s uniform: because the alternative is Patton with those damn spit-shined six-shooters or MacArthur doing a half-dozen takes of hitting the beach so they got his good side. They’re way more typical of the breed.

Another great quote from one of Qadaffi’s sons, explaining why hundreds of civvies were having a campout at the regime’s Tripoli HQ: “They are here as voluntary human shield.” That’s the best kind, the voluntary ones. In a pinch, however, the kind you round up with heavy machine guns are good too.

Read more:, Gary Brecher, The War Nerd

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Add your own

  • 1. pat b  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 10:05 am

    according to the LA Times

    “These people, explained shopkeeper Mohammad Hadi, were brave people. He had even brought his 10-year-old daughter, Hadeel, for the human chain.

    “So what if they bomb?” he said. “We never get scared. If there was any fear, these people would never come here.”

    “We are here,” said medical student Salah Mohammad, 24, “to be with the leader of our revolution, even if we die.”

    Cellphones began to ring. A hush fell over the crowd. People began to whisper to one another: Cruise missiles were being fired at Tripoli. Those sitting in a grassy area quickly got up and began heading for the exit.

    More followed, until the human chain thinned to a few dozen people standing in the chill before the balcony where Kadafi was supposed to address them.

    But the Brother Leader was nowhere to be seen. He would address Libyans later by telephone, from an undisclosed location.”

  • 2. gyges  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Do you have an exit strategy for this column?

    Or should we expect to read, day 3,208?

  • 3. Doug  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Great to see you following through on the daily blogging pledge. Great stuff, you’re off the cuff writing and analysis is as good as the longer distilled WN articles. Keep up the good work!

    (Btw, the only criticism I have is that something seems to be off with the formatting, there’s no space in between the paragraphs)

  • 4. baron ungern von sternberg  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 10:55 am

    at 1 million a cruise missile, 50 mio a jet, all those wars just accelerate the hopeless us bankruptcy. this one seems particularly senseless and schizophrenic (bahrain?) though yet quite fitting for your monkey in chief. the house of lies keeps on tumbling

    i wonder what happened to your spirited reporting from previous years. have you undergone lobotomy or extended prozac therapy recently?

  • 5. CB  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 11:56 am

    @ 4:
    Dang, that’s cheap! That’s between-the-couch-cushions money for the DoD. Oh sorry, was that piddling amount supposed to impress and/or scare me? I’ve been paying the price for two land wars for the better part of a decade, so to me this looks like a downright sensible use of funds. :)

  • 6. Sej  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    “It’s a reliable double-engine aircraft”

    You seem to forget that a couple years ago (2007ish, I believe) all F-15C’s were grounded for a couple months after one broke in half mid-flight where the cockpit meets the fuselage. Turned out to be an issue with the mounting flange fatiguing, and the entire fleet had to be refit with new flanges.

    As a former USAF engineer (F-15 firmware) I can tell you not to expect military hardware to be overly reliable, especially such complex/expensive items.

  • 7. baron ungern von sternberg  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    well, you still are paying for those wars and adding more quasi daily. at 100 missiles a day and who knows how many lost planes, necessary logistics, fuel etc. its not insignificant.
    certainly its nice to watch this selfdeconstruction live

  • 8. Dave  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I must admit, I don’t get the hand wringing over Libya in the media. This little dustup is just what the US army needs right now. No boots on the ground, international support, and a chance to pound some vintage soviet bloc armour into scrap metal on CNN. Christ I saw some anchorwoman on CNN breathlessly prattling on about the tech specs for the Tomahawk.

    Considering the miserable grind that Afghanistan and Iraq have been this is like a nice refreshing chaser between shots of cheap rye.

    This diversion isn’t going to overextend the US military any more than it already has been, and like CB said the money that the DoD is going to spend on this is pocket change.

  • 9. Max Bell  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Well, I mean, it’s the Air Force, not the Army or the Marines; we know where Gary’s loyalties lie. Awesome stuff.

    When this story broke, my first thought was the early days of Iraq and reports of people driving their Humvees into the Tigris. We laugh and point at the Arab pray and spray, but we’re just so damned tight, ourselves. Something something hubris.

    Still, anecdotes aside, what I’d really love to know is “how the hell do we win this clusterfuck”?

  • 10. postman  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Did anyone else noticed that most, if not all, of the Libyan rebels and combat videos and pictures are faked? Totally faked imagery? And lots of them are very, very funny in a fucked up way: based on a little basic military training you can tell: what you see is not really happening.

  • 11. solfish  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    You spit-shine leather, not steel. Spit contains water. Patton’s .45’s were stainless, so I suppose you could put shoe polish on them if you really wanted to. I actually kind of like the mental image of screaming at some hapless and confused private because the private has failed to get the famous Colt’s a nice glossy black.

  • 12. Durumdog  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I remember The War Nerd once telling us that Saddam was the only guy able to keep a lid on the pit of snakes that was Iraq. Why am I getting the feeling that Moamar will be eulogized similarly in the near future? Just because Libya has oil doesnt mean it cant turn into another Mad Max wasteland like Somalia, with local tribes and warlords the only rule of law.

  • 13. Bork bork bork  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    postman, some examples for us without basic training?

  • 14. Michal  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Yes Postman, everybody’s lying to you. There’s no civil war in Libya. It’s all hollywood. Colonel Gaddafi is handing out plushies to the rebels, the people of Benghazi reciprocate with greeting cards, and US air force is bombarding Gaddafi’s army with pure joy.

  • 15. tom  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    WN keep it up… I don’t care if you just read the paper and give your opinion of the matter, just keep the columns coming… you know your stuff well enough to wing it

  • 16. Geoduck  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    It’s my vague understanding that most of the Libyan rebels don’t in fact have any military training, so maybe they’re genuinely doing stupid things…

  • 17. mookid  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    libyan eyewitnesses told they had seen flames before the jet hit the ground. at first they had assumed it was a missile.

    i’d guess it was friendly fire by one of the other 13 airforces involved.

  • 18. Sleepy  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    And then there’s this

    Team America is all too real

  • 19. Mike  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Wouldn’t the Stinger IFF systems preempt any such shoot-down?

  • 20. Reggie  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    > I remember The War Nerd once telling us that Saddam was the only guy able to keep a lid on the pit of snakes that was Iraq. Why am I getting the feeling that Moamar will be eulogized similarly in the near future? Just because Libya has oil doesnt mean it cant turn into another Mad Max wasteland like Somalia, with local tribes and warlords the only rule of law.

    Exactly. The oil tends to make matters worse. Each side here – much like Churchill and Stalin in 1945 – ponders, morning noon and night, “they might attack and conquer, so maybe we should go do them before they do us?”

    Churchill and Stalin both worked up a cost-benefit analysis and decided to do nothing, even though they had plans ready in case of a change of heart. Partly because they knew they were both pretty chill doods – that was part of the workup. Libyans and Iraqis are a little more hot-headed, so there’s that. But the oil makes it worse still, because it can shift the whole cost-benefit workup towards “attack!”

    If you and your opponent are prone to coolness and cooperation (however uneasy a cooperation), then oil gives you one more reason to cooperate. If you are prone to hotness, attacking, and double-crossing, then oil gives you one more reason to attack.

  • 21. Reggie  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    > i’d guess it was friendly fire by one of the other 13 airforces involved.

    Flames can come from malfunction, though. I would still bet on malfunction if that’s what they say, but we’ll never know for sure – arguably there is a motive, opportunity, and propensity to lie. On the other hand, video could show that you’re lying (or at least wrong), which kind of makes you want to just tell the truth.

  • 22. Paja  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I wonder how you didn’t yet mention the Arab League , because those guys really annoy me. 6 days ago they were tellin “Yes, it’s the Wests humanitarian duty to set up a no-fly zone over Lybia”. Then three days later “Aaah thats so totally wrong, why do you use bombs and planes over Lybia to set up a no-fly zone, why didn’t you use magic instead”.

  • 23. calripson  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Not hard to explain: Happened at altitude over the target zone – ordinance malfunction, either the missile got hung up or detonated . Pilots bailed at altitude.

  • 24. badnewswade  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    at 1 million a cruise missile, 50 mio a jet, all those wars just accelerate the hopeless us bankruptcy.

    Not. At. All. It is called “military Keynsianism”. Spending money in a recession is good, it creates jobs for people and this stimulates the economy. Bit wasteful but it works like nothing else, as the military can ALWAYS get the government to open their coffers.

  • 25. Ander  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I care not one lick for these Muslims and their shithole countries filled with terrorists.

    Why is it “our” job to give freedom to ungrateful bastards? Obama is just as retarded and naive as Bush- they both worshiped Islam (as much as you can without bowing to Mecca) and would gladly kill millions of Americans to grant the Muslims “freedom.” Let them do what they will and let us not get entangled in foreign affairs.

  • 26. dave  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Libya in a nutshell

  • 27. Crabs  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Unlikely, mookid. The US is the only modern armed force that manages to maintain a solid record of blue-on-blue despite all of the wonderful gadgetry presumably designed to minimise it.

  • 28. Ozinator  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 8:03 pm


    Relax, The US and Obama aren’t giving freedom to anyone and shit like that is only implied by your news sources to make most USicans feel they belong to a benevolent country. Though Obama may not masturbate to the countless murders he’s taking part in, in other ways he’s a lot like you

  • 29. postman  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Michal and Bork,

    I do not say all is quiet in Libya, but I can not see why the regime would let reporters roam free in the tribal areas, and why the rebels and their advisors would let reporters take pictures at all. To let the Libyan military Intelligence analyse those pictures and gain decisive informations about the rebels?
    So the news videos and pictures are faked.
    Fake LOL-photos of rebels and battle in Libya:
    Fake LOL-video of air attack in Libya (youtube comments on video will tell you why):

  • 30. RPG Cunthair  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Utter drivel and trash. Worst of all, its fucking boring. Drove me out of the shitter quick. Now I gotta go again.

  • 31. postman  |  March 22nd, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Michal and Bork,

    part 2.:
    It is not as if it is only me who noticed it, there are for example this Swiss news editor saying now something similar which I had ponted out weeks ago on other forums:

    Another LOL-faked rebels battle Libya picture I just came across this morning:

  • 32. baron ungern von sternberg  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 12:07 am

    military keynes?
    well sure, it remains the only vaguely competitive sector of us industry, trouble is, those missiles dont generate any returns as good investments would, rather lead to more costs down the road.would be more effective handing out those monies directly to the citizens and cause no further terrorism and backlash. but then, this reduced thinking is just what fucked up your country so irreparably in the first place.
    also, its just for starters and sure to escalate the coming weeks. with the us track record of losing wars actually a satisfying perspective.

  • 33. gray  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 12:32 am

    I hope I’m getting trolled and that you don’t really believe that.

  • 34. yo  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 2:11 am

    What I need the War Nerd to tell me is what all this will result in. What new nuthead will take power after Khaddafi?

    Oh, and throw in somthing about the other “revolutions” in MENA

    The media is just telling me about this “democratic victory” as the greatest thing ever, so I turn to War Nerd

  • 35. Esn  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 3:39 am

    I agree about Gaddafi… one thing I haven’t seen mentioned in the media lately… look at the UN Human Development Index, and it looks like he was the best leader in Africa (yeah, I know that’s like being the thinnest kid at fat camp):

    Yeah, Libya has oil. But Nigeria and Sudan also have oil, but that may have just made things worse, if anything.

    Thanks for the article, Brecher – quite a good read.

  • 36. Eddie  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Sorry to break your bubble about the V-22. But it is a piece of shit in every way.

    Check out the document above.

    It has basically less range then a comparable modern helicopters.
    It’s not faster, because it cannot fly at the altitude that would make it faster.
    It has less payload then a modern helicopter.
    It is way, way more vulnerable to gunfire then a helicopter.
    It’s less survivable then a modern helicopter.

    And so on. Read and weep.

  • 37. MonkeyMouth  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Is WN a canadian?
    Sammy Maudlin for crissakes? You are incredible, Gary. Really brought back some sweet memories of Sammy and good ol’ William B. Williams
    And remember when Sammy had Bobby Bittman’s little brother on? Skip Bittman?
    Fuck, that show was great.
    And oh ya….
    @25 go read the fucking Washington Post Seems to be your newsie of choice. That and FauxNews….. You really believe what you are saying here? I won’t state the obvious, but ‘freeing musilms’ aint in the cards for the great satan that is america and the ‘coalition’.

  • 38. C367  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Dunno what’s gonna be worse for the USAF, though. Malfunction – as in multi-million dollars worth hi-tech airplane suddenly behaving like a brick – or being shot down by 50 years old SAM?

  • 39. C367  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 6:15 am

    @Ander: the funniest part is that Qaddafi’s Lybia is not actually Muslim. The rebels – if they are rebels at all – have a fundamentalist islamic background. Dunno you, but i smell another massive fuckup Taliban style.

  • 40. CB  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 7:15 am

    @ baron

    No, it is insignificant, as the continued expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate. If they deployed this much additional hardware in those places, you wouldn’t even know because it wouldn’t show up in the first few digits. Even if you noticed the slight up-tick, you wouldn’t know if they’d fired a hundred cruise missiles, or if they’d treated the troops to chicken parmesan for dinner.

    People’s lack of discernment, their inability to distinguish, is really getting to me. Not just the math failure and lack of scale, but fundamental differences between this and the two actual wars. It’s sad. Not everything is the same. Things are different. Sometimes you have to think about them to notice.

    @ 24 badnewswade:

    On the other hand, this is just an example of the Broken Window Fallacy. The observation, which is technically true, is that breaking the window results in a variety of economic activity. The fallacy is that this is the only or even remotely the best way to stimulate the economy. We could spend those millions repairing bridges, or funding our schools, or launching weather satellites, or a variety of other more productive things.

    Not that this decision was undertaken from that context.

  • 41. Tim  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Military keynesianism is just as bad as regular keynesianism. All that money spent on the war is money that can’t be spent elsewhere, or more importantly, the resources expended bought by the money. Badnewswade is falling for the classic Broken Window Fallacy.

    WN I love you, but your love affair with the Osprey has to end brother.

  • 42. baron ungern von sternberg  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 8:17 am

    you dont seem to be very imaginative. i clearly stated this is to be seen as the initial stage of a protracted new war theatre, once fully staged on an equal scale with the other two, maybe surpassing them. the fact remains of the asymmetrical cost structure of warequipment visavis those countries. and the fact remains that you are having an aggravating funding problem, with every new war decreasing the likelihood of those funny dollars to keep their reserve currency status and supposed allies silently defecting (germans?) and the chinese sticking it up your ass again.

  • 43. Curtis LeMay  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Brecher! Front and center! If you and your lackeys want to be taken seriously, then look into the costs associated with the VT-22 and F-35. Report back at oh-dark-thirty.

    Oh . . . and some snapper reviews, starting with ‘Miramar’ Qaddafi’s 40 AK-toting, virgin Amazon praetorians. You handle the mil side of it. We’ll do followup on the snapper side.

    God speed. Always wear protection.

    Curt LeMay
    ‘Peace Is Our Profession’, and a little professional piece every now and then ain’t too bad.

  • 44. Ganryu  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 10:18 am

    @39–good point. Now the so-called al-Qaeda of the Magreb are “good guys”. Webster Tarpley had a lot to say on this twist:

  • 45. Bork bork bork  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Thanks, postman! This sort of stuff has been going on since the advent of photography (ex. staged dead sniper from american civil war).

    In this video (from early) I got the impression they were just shooting their load for the cameras (and any girl in the rebellion) and not even total civilians would group up like that if they were fighting for real.

  • 46. CB  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    @ Baron

    I can imagine a lot of things. I can imagine that Libya secretly signed a mutual defense pact with China and now it’s WWIII. The question is: Why should I treat *your* imagination as though it were fact, just because you clearly state it as though it is?

    I think it’s pretty hilarious that you think it’s even possible for a conflict in a country with a total population about that of Baghdad alone will end up surpassing Iraq. Not that it will end up as anything more than the current bombing campaign, at least from a U.N./NATO point of view. We’re only doing that much because our Air Force and Navy doesn’t have that much to do in Iraq or Afghanistan. We literally can’t involve our ground forces, and we’re already looking forward to backing off.

    Nope, the only reason we’re intervening at all is because there’s already a ground force there to get their hands dirty, and who want our help. If they take out Qaddafi, great. If they end up not being up to the task despite us pounding his armor for them, well, we’ll let them twist in the wind. We’ve done it before. Ask the Iraqis.

    Your imagination is operating on what you hope and dream will happen, that we’d foolishly over-OVER-extend ourselves. Sorry, but in the real world, we’ve become ever so slightly smarter. 😉

  • 47. postman  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 4:16 pm


    The ground troops are already there.
    Remember the SAS troops captured while “evacuating civils”? Evacuating civils, my arse. They were running recce for the future invasion, and they were arming and training the rebels. Now they are the ones pointing out the targets for the NATO aircraft with laser.
    And it is not just the Brits. The Israelis are in it much deeper. In Egypt a Sayeret Matkal Mistaravim commando was detained. Mistaravim means “like an Arab, or play an Arab”, as in Arab terrorists. Yep, they are Al-Qaeda, and Gaddhafi knows what he is talking about when he blames Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda is the israeli Sayeret Matkal Mistaravims.

  • 48. baron ungern von sternberg  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    i detect a healthy dose of wishful thinking in your arguments, judging from your – if also ironic – optimism regarding us warwaging- and budgeting skills. good luck!
    as for my dreams and hopes, havent got any here. its all rather hopeless from any perspective anyway.
    for the us its the endgame and there can be little doubt about the eventual outcome.

  • 49. postman  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 6:45 pm


    Well, Al-Qaeda is the IDF Sayeret Matkal unit, a Mistaravim pseudo-terrorist gang. With their mother country, the USA is the best allies, so we can say that, yes, they are the “good guys”, from the twisted “America seconder” crowds’ point of view (you know, opposite of “America firsters”). Just as the Sayeret Matkal commando was detained in Egypt playing Arab protesters, they are there in Libya playing Arab rebels. Gaddhafi blames Al-Qaeda, Sayeret Matkal is Al-Qaeda, and Sayeret Matkal is active in the region. They are a pseudo terrorist gang, they are American allies, they have nothing to do with real islamic or Arab peoples.

  • 50. Victorvalley Villain  |  March 23rd, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I wish there was a way to filter out “postman.”

  • 51. postman  |  March 24th, 2011 at 12:08 am

    I wish there was a way to filter out “Victorvalley Villain”. :)

  • 52. baron ungern von sternberg  |  March 24th, 2011 at 3:46 am

    also, you should consider the sheer size of libya, its financial resources (the colonel has 7 bln $ worth alone in gold rising by the day, many blns in cash), the determination of resistance, uncontrollable border to chad and niger etc. as much more relevant than population size, in appreciating the potential quagmire.
    back to numbers though, the operations now cost the allied forces ca. 300mio $ a day, meaning 10bln a month. iraq and afgh combined cost the pentagon 180 bln a year.

  • 53. YouMustBeJoking  |  March 26th, 2011 at 9:17 am

    “for the us [sic] its [sic] the endgame and there can be little doubt about the eventual outcome.”

    So — spell it out for us (I’m not from or in the US). Then you can claim glory when it eventually comes to pass.

  • 54. baron ungern von sternberg  |  March 29th, 2011 at 12:32 am

    military defeat at the hands of stone age muslims and financial defeat at the hands of chinese, russians et al. a country doesnt choose its leaders unpunished. once youare in the final stage of plutocrazy with no more intellectual, moral and leadership reserves to tap, its game over.
    the us is one big mess, question remaining only for the exact time frame

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