Not a Role Model

One should not view NATO’s action to support rebels seeking the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi as a template for future coalition operations, said US Africa Command chief Gen. Carter Ham. Speaking with defense reporters Wednesday in Washington, D.C., the Army general said the Libya operation will be “instructive” for future military action, but since all military campaigns are “condition-specific,” he sees no new paradigms emerging from Operation Odyssey Dawn/Operation Unified Protector. However, he said the operation met the UN’s intent. “Many people are alive in Benghazi who would not be” but for UN Security Council resolution 1973, said Ham. Even so, he isn’t expecting Libya to cozy up to the United States in the post-Qaddafi era. Asked if Libya would need re-equipping, potentially with American weapons, Ham said he’d naturally like to see such an outcome, but “I don’t think the US will be Libya’s principal security partner.” (For more Ham coverage, read Libya Lessons and The Three Fears.)