Saturday, March 26, 2011

The secret of Hillary Clinton's sudden interest in Libya

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has emerged as the leading voice of the Barack Obama administration on Libya. She has been most vociferous about the support for 'democratic forces' (rebels) in Libya. She spearheaded the diplomatic campaign for UN resolution. She travelled to Cairo and Tunis to discuss Arab participation. She attended the summit in Paris last Monday to flesh out the coalition to implement Resolution 1973. She began interpreting the scope of R-1973. She is traveling back to London next week for the 'contact group' meeting on Libya.

And now, above all, she has announced that US is taking the next step in the war by transferring command and control to NATO. "We are taking the next step: We have agreed along with our NATO allies to transition command and control for the no-fly zone over Libya to NATO."

Furthermore, Clinton went one step ahead and anticipated that it is a matter of time before NATO is put in charge of the entire mission. "All 28 allies have also now authorized military authorities to develop an operations plan for NATO to take on the broader civilian protection mission." (Hey, where is Robert Gates?) Do UAE or Qatar have any problem operating under NATO? No. Because Clinton sorted it out with her Arab counterparts at the Paris meeting. Quite obviously, this isn't Obama Gates' war. Both have taken low-key roles while Clinton is leading and is in full cry.

What is there in Libya for Clinton? Significantly, Clinton is getting strong support principally from two unlikely camps: the interventionists and neocons in US. But what is not obvious in the ongoing discourses - or, more precisely, what is not being openly discussed - is that the Israeli Lobby has been in the vanguard of the campaign for the intervention in Libya. A large NATO presence in Libya is a huge security guarantee for Israel at a time when it faces the spectre of isolation in the Middle East.

Veteran diplomat M K Bhadrakumar in his blog. More Here.

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