Libya is a small country of just over 6 million people but it possesses the largest oil reserves in all of Africa. The oil produced there is especially coveted because of its particularly high quality.
The Air Force of the United States along with Britain and France has carried out 7,459 bombing attacks since March 19. Britain, France and the United States sent special operation ground forces and commando units to direct the military operations of the so-called rebel fighters â€“ it is a NATO- led army in the field.
The troops may be disaffected Libyans but the operation is under the control and direction of NATO commanders and western commando units who serve as â€śadvisors.â€ť Their new weapons and billions in funds come from the U.S. and other NATO powers that froze and seized Libyaâ€™s assets in Western banks. Their only military successes outside of Benghazi, in the far east of the country, have been exclusively based on the coordinated air and ground operations of the imperialist NATO military forces.
In military terms, Libyaâ€™s resistance to NATO is of David and Goliath proportions. U.S. military spending alone is more than ten times greater than Libyaâ€™s entire annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was $74.2 billion in 2010, according to the CIAâ€™s World Fact Book.
In recent weeks, the NATO military operations used surveillance-collecting drones, satellites, mounting aerial attacks and covert commando units to decapitate Libyaâ€™s military and political leadership and its command and control capabilities. Global economic sanctions meant that the country was suddenly deprived of income and secure access to goods and services needed to sustain a civilian economy over a long period.
â€śThe cumulative effect [of NATOâ€™s coordinated air and ground operation] not only destroyed Libyaâ€™s military infrastructure but also greatly diminished Colonel Gaddafiâ€™s commanders to control forces, leaving even committed fighting units unable to move, resupply or coordinate operations,â€ś reports the New York Times in a celebratory article on August 22.