Western “victory” depends on fueling Libya violence by arming rebels
+It is suspected that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are already funneling arms to the Libyan rebels -PR+
Military operation could embolden rebels, US says
WESTERN air strikes on Libya could fuel a mutiny inside Muammar Gaddafi’s regime and bolster the ranks of opposition forces, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said today.
The Australian, March 24, 2011
US officials believe the best hope to an early end to the Libya campaign is a popular uprising…
…Speaking to reporters in the Egyptian capital as coalition forces enforced a UN no-fly zone in neighbouring Libya, Gates made no promises of an early end to the conflict and said that it was unrealistic to expect military action to be over in a matter of weeks.
He also acknowledged that it was difficult to gauge the strength of opposition forces, but held out the possibility that air raids could bring back volunteers to the rebels’ cause by stifling the regime’s firepower.
Libya: arming rebellion ‘would turn tide’
The Libyan rebel movement could legally be supplied with weapons from abroad in a move that would rapidly bring the conflict to an end, defence experts have said.
Thomas Harding, The Telegraph, March 23, 2011
There are growing doubts that the rebels will be able to prevail over Col Gaddafi’s forces without outside intervention, and there are worries too that a costly and dangerous stalemate will follow a lack of decisive military action.
Brig Ben Barry, of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, said however that if a provisional council was recognised by the United Nations, it would be able to accept arms, and could quickly overthrow Gaddafi loyalists or persuade the Libyan ruler’s inner circle to oust him.