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80 Percent of Gadhafi’s Air Force Gone

by John Reed on May 18, 2011

Here’s a nice little summary of the status of Gadhafi’s forces after weeks of bombardment by NATO. 80 percent of his air force is gone with only helicopters remaining (I’m not sure why any aircraft remain, but hey, maybe NATO forces really are running low on bombs). Meanwhile, the crazy colonel’s army has lost a third of its heavy equipment and half of its ammo stockpiles, France’s defense minister, Gerard Longuet, told French lawmakers recently

However, the mighty Libyan Navy (sarcasm there) is still intact.

AFP quotes Longuet as saying:

Only the navy has been spared, but that presents no great danger and its ships have stayed in port where they pose no threat. The anti-air defenses have also been seriously hit.

So, maybe the air campaign against him will work. Yes, NATO’s been criticized for moving slowly and so far failing to deliver the knockout blow against Gadhafi but hey give this another two months and there may well be a new regime in charge in Tripoli. Who will make up that regime? Well, that’s another story.


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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Matrix_3692 May 18, 2011 at 10:56 am

knock out blows? NATO is got to be dying to telling everyone that they delivered that blow. But every time they do that, Gadhafi survives to live another day and someone else was hit instead.
that guy has got to have more lives than cats and Osama combined!


Mat May 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

Nothing to brag about after weeks of bombardment ,just shows how ineffective airpower is without boots on the ground it was the same with bombing Serbia 80days of bombing didnt even dent the military just destroyed infrastructure and a lot dummy targets of and when it was all over Serbs flew the jets out of airbase in kosovo that was supposedly destroyed in first week of the war


SJE May 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Yep. An uncomfortable truth while the AF asks for more money. OTOH, it does show the weakness of the foreign AFs when it comes to attacking ground targets, while the USA has C130s and A10s. I think its about time for other AFs to consider getting dedicated CAS aircraft.


TLAM Strike May 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm

The Italian Air Force operates the AMX. Italy, Germany, and Britain operate the Tornado IDS. The Spanish and Italian navys also operate the AV-8B Harrier II.

All are very capable in the CAS role.

Plus there are plenty of F-16s and F/A-18s in NATO both can provide CAS if required.


USA May 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

I think Gadhafi and Trump share the same barber.


SJE May 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Bombastic barbers: stylists to the megalomaniacal since 1890.


roland May 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm

This could probably make it to the Hollywood blockbuster movie. A comedy version.


Lance May 18, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Umm The Libyan air force when the air war began only had about 20-50 aircraft in flying condition so im not surprised about this. Over 20 years of decay and economic sanctions left the Libyan Air Force grounded except for a few aircraft when the civil war began anyway. The fact is both sides dont use aircraft and this is a ground civil war. Since its tribal warfare i doubt this war is almost over the writer here is high on something if he thinks that.

You don't want the Islamist rebels to win they will just make a North African Iran regime in Tripoli anyway that's ALOT worse than the current dictator.


Andrew May 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

The thing is, if they do create a theocratic state like Iran, it will it at least be a government most of the people want. One of the reasons the US has such a bad reputation and image around the world is that we go on and on about democracy and self-determination, but any time a state actually chooses their own government and it’s not a Jeffersonian democracy, we say “sorry, that’s not going to work, try again”. If a less than democratic regime is elected democratically (yes, I realize that sounds somewhat contradictory), then we need to recognize it, and go with it.

And in any case, I do not see Libya going the way of Iran, as there really is no loud religious force behind the uprising like there was in Iran. Remember, people were also worrying Egypt would be turned over to the MB and turn into a heavily Islamist state, but it hasn’t happened yet. If anything, I see Libya going the way of Turkey. And, while it isn’t perfect, it’s a lot better than the alternative.


anon May 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

The United States had nothing to do with imposing Gaddafi on the Libyan people; our man was Idris I who was deposed. Our efforts to eliminate the guy should have some degree of credibility, though with radicals like OBL (who was no friend of Gaddafi either) it would not have mattered either way.

The young Arabs of the street; if we read them correctly, many are interested in getting jobs at home instead of going overseas to decadent Western countries, where immoral unbelievers seem to have it better than devout Muslims. It may be anathema to suggest it, but an economically healthier Middle East may mean less terrorists in the long run. Violence is the refuge of the dispossessed and destitute, and less of those may mean less terrorists. OBL, KSM and many of the 9/11 hijackers were educated engineers. If they'd had jobs back home, were well-off and mothers cajoled them into marriage, how many of them would be strapping bombs to their bodies?


roland May 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Ask them to make a general election. This may solve the problems.


crackedlenses May 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Gaddafi still controls too much of the country; he could force most of the people to vote for him at gunpoint…..


Jeff May 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

That picture is priceless…


Rajarata May 18, 2011 at 9:23 pm

See Airforces monthly in February for a detailed profile into Libyan air force operation which, really doesnt have a lot operational capacity anyway ! What a waste of oil Money !


Sarek May 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm

80 Percent of Brain's auhor is gone too…to believe that.


John-Michael Davis May 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Looking at that picture I am thinking it might be time for Benicio to make another romanticized epic. To be simply titled 'Gadhafi' od course.


Tyler May 21, 2011 at 1:48 am

So much for his navy.


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