NATO Troops Already in Libya?

Here’s something interesting. Early in the week we heard Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying a no-fly zone over Libya was being actively considered. Her comments were followed by CNO Adm. Gary Roughead said the Navy is ready to help enforce a no-fly zone should the order be given. Then yesterday, numerous reports came out saying the White House is trying to downplay the potential of a military intervention in Libya. Defense Secretary Robert Gates even warned against “loose talk” on the matter.

While he urged caution, Gates said all options are still on the table. Now, Janes is reporting that a NATO team might be in Libya investigating the feasibility of setting up a no-fly zone:

A NATO team mostly comprising US personnel has been deployed to eastern Libya to determine whether a no-fly zone could be imposed in response to the crackdown by Colonel Moammar Ghadaffi against reform-minded protestors, Jane’s understands from international sources.

Experts in airlift and command-and-control operations based at NATO headquarters in Brussels were dispatched on 27 February, to search for possible radar sites to aid the enforcement of any possible no-fly zone over Libyan airspace and to liaise with officers from Libyan military units that have abandoned the 41-year-old regime, the source told Jane’s on 28 February.

The Pentagon, however, denies that any U.S. forces are on the ground and a Libyan opposition source says he’s seen no western troops, according to the article.

One Libyan opposition supporter told Jane’s on 28 February that he had yet to see any Western military officials in Benghazi: the eastern city that has become the epicentre of the rebellion.

Pentagon spokesman David Lapan told Jane’s on 1 March that “no US forces had deployed to Libya”.

There could very well be a team or teams of special ops folks on the ground doing everything from quietly training the opposition to collecting all sorts of intel. If so, I promise you they’re keeping extremely low profiles, for now.

  • Citizenme


    Another Kosovo…..

  • Dave Barnes

    The Colonel’s boys are holding 3 Dutch marines. Isn’t Holland part of NATO?

  • STemplar

    Spies on the ground in a country we might become involved in militarily. Pretty much how every conflict has ever worked isn’t it?

  • John Deere

    The Western Desert is perfect for special operations. It’s where the Long Range Desert Group cut its teeth and the SAS had its inglorious inauguration; there’s sufficient resources, thus money, at stake to ensure Western interests are “protected”.

    Why bother a no fly zone when Gaddafi has no planes… or, will soon have no planes. I expect the Lybian opposition will miraculously become master of deep strike operations and will destroy the Gaddafi airforce on the ground. Thanks to David Stirling.

  • Ranger Rick

    American sources have disclosed that the British SAS is likely to be called upon to secure up to 10 tons of mustard gas and sarin that is believed to be stockpiled at three separate locations.

    British Special Forces are thought to have been in Libya for about 10 days and have ALREADY played a leading role in rescuing hundreds of oil workers. Not only is the US concerned about the potential use of chemical weapons by Gaddafi against his own people, but also the prospect that they could fall into the hands of Islamic extremists who would use them against the US and UK.

    • blight

      If there was a NBC weapon issue I imagine a few TLAMs would solve the problem. It worked for that Sudanese pharmaceutical company…

  • Byron Skinner

    Good Afternoon Folks,

    This is a topic that shouldn’t be posted at this time. If it is correct, and I have doubts it is, it involves current operations. If it is incorrect which is most likely, then it could comprise options that may be being considered by the Armed Forces of the United States.

    This is the kind of irresponsible journalism that cost lives of American military. This story should be pulled.

    Byron Skinner

    • mike j


      Don’t you s’pose Qaddafi already knows we don’t like him and are actively pushing for his removal? How is one little non-specific, speculative article on a blog which quotes most of its material from another blog going to cause a busted mission for our troops?

    • blight

      He’s already captured Dutch marines, so he’s free to assume the worst case scenario.

    • Oblat

      I believe Byron is negotiating directly with Qaddafi as we speak.

    • @Cr4shDummy


      I think there is credence to this story. If we’re going to enforce a no-fly zone, it would make sense to have guys on the ground with SOFLAMs. And if it is true, we won’t hear about aside from rumors.

  • rluscomb

    We dont even want our own oil, why would we want theirs?

  • txkboy

    Look at the 1970 NATO Resolution. It says it all. NATO went South when they didn’t impose a “no fly” zone after the 1981 Gulf of Sidra incident.

  • jamesb101

    Obama and Gates aren’t too happy with getting into this…

  • jamesb101

    but with Special Ops people doing advance work….and combat air controller’s probbaly checking the angles….

    The CIC has options….

  • roland

    By the looks of it, Libyan opposition may probably figure it out somehow before or after Libyan pro government pilots flight.

  • SOF Bubba

    They should bring a team to exfil Raymond Davis in Pakistan.

  • galloglas

    Counting the Dutch Marines and their helicopter?

  • Oblat

    The message to all the other US backed dictatorships is loud and clear, we will turn on you as soon as you look weak. Saddam, Mubarak and Qaddafi all bought into the nuclear non-proliferation rehtoric and are paying the price.

    • Gregory Savage

      Man shut up and stay out. Go to your own country and rant.

  • I Cohen

    All this to get at some oil wells? Memories of the Kurds psyched up to rise up against Saddam Hussein and then left “twisting in the wind” by the West.

  • Lance

    The spec ops are there to probably to get relations going with rebel leaders and to supply arms to anti Libyan forces.

  • Planodude

    My feelings are mixed here. First off, I’m very releived that BO is showing some Reagan-like guts, and he is assuring that that SOB murderer, Gadhafi, gets what he should have gotten years ago,after he blew up the Lockerbie, Scotland Pan Am 747. Indisputably, now is the time for actively, militarily, weighing in to assure Gadhafi’s defeat. Hesitation and vascillation for any reason will only lead to American regrets, later on. Secondly, we should not be reading about any American milirary involvement… at this moment. One would hope no American journalists are stupid enough to publically divulge this present classified activity.

  • bkny22

    WE NEED TO STAY HOME Most of their oil goes to England and other parts of Europe . The burden should theirs for their oil SEMPER FI

    • Belesari

      Yes but the militaries of Europe have been hobbled by decades of having the US to depend upon for offensive firepower and logistics. The euro’s would have problems mounting a expedition into libya even if they didnt have a single troop in astan or iraq.

      The no fly Zone in lybia would basicly take the mogority of there militaries not involved in other duties. Hundreds of aircraft flying many sorties everyday. tens of thousands people.

      So they wont do it they dont have the money to spend. So we get to deal with the economic and political instabilities even if they dont really impact us directly.

  • anthony

    Them oil fields are most important to guard so of course their are humans guarding them,Kadaffi wants to blow them up until the rebels get relieved they will keep protecting them,and believ me they are guarded.Lets all hope this ends soon!!

  • anthony

    Yes Holland is part of Nato and they also have their marines ready for green light,meanwhile The crew of the chopper are being treated well,as said by authorities..

  • Agni Subba

    this is great