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Libya Rebellion on hiatus

March 21, 2011

The rebellion in Libya appears to be stalling as foreign powers decide what action to take in their own best interest.  From the very first days of the rebellion, there was confusion as to what stance should be taken in respect to Muammar Gudafi and his regime.  What with the British and French boldy declaring a No Fly Zone would be initiated over the skies of Libya, then the United States telling them to calm the rhetoric, it has been an especially confusing display of interantional diplomacy.  But just what is at stake for the worlds largest Superpowers?

Wary of a new foreign entanglement, President Barack Obama is taking a cautious approach on a no-fly zone over Libya that is leaving him open to charges of dithering as Libyan rebels lose ground.  “Any time I send the United States forces into a potentially hostile situation, there are risks involved and there are consequences. And it is my job as president to make sure that we have considered all those risks,” President Obama told a news conference last Friday.  It’s no secret that President Obama has been attempting to wind down the US military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq since running for President when the Democrat hounded President Bush’s previous military engagements of those regions.  The President has an election race steadily approaching and needs to show that he has made progress.  But the truth is that President Obama is struggling to contain a Federal budget blowout of more than $1.4trillionUS, and perhaps this is the greatest reason for a cautious approach to engaging troops in Libya.  Perhaps the most telling sign that President Obama is being advised against a No Fly Zone of Libya is a quote from the Defence Secretary Robert Gates telling a press conference a No Fly Zone would involve “a big operation in a big country”.

So what do France and Britain have at stake in Libya.  Perhaps something to take note that a key stake in Libya is oil.  Crude oil production makes up a massive percentage of Libya’s exports and without these oil reserves, Libya would crumble.  With the insurrection underway, oil prices are beginning to hit record pricesin countries such as France and Britain who rely heavily on Libyan oil.  France and Britain account for 25% of Libya’s total crude oil exports, while the USA, in comparison, accounts for just 1%.

Only time will tell if these Western powers will enforce a no fly zone or find a diplomatic method to solve the situation in Libya

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From → World Politics

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