I wrote this on the 15th March 2011, just re-posting here, and still believe of it’s value:
Myself like many others out there, I am disgusted and appalled by the actions of the Libyan Government under Gaddaffi, however, I am also an strategist and student of military affairs, and like any other I would like to state the fact that, under all these emotional feelings, we, in particular, practitioners and students of military affairs, and counter-insurgency operations (coin ops), should never overlook the Libyan prompt reactions to the local violence. this is the opposite of Rumsfeld and US failure to recognise from the outset the nature of the Iraqi Insurgency in 2003.
Libyan reaction and strong unified action, is exemplar of much expounded advice from the old sages of coin ops, e.g. Kitson and the like; the ability to Marshall and react in speed; the ability to unify the will of the existing regime against the challenges of the new forces; the ability to create an over-handed reaction from external parties, thus legitimising one’s own action and at the same time dividing the country opinion and outside division.
As I have said it before and here again reiterated, Gaddaffi for those who have really met him,he is one shrewd statesman, Machavelli would strive to learn from him rather than the other way around.
I hope the western military establishments devour the lessons of the Libyan internal violence, as a model for students and practitioners of counter-insurgency operations, so, in future we will not repeat the ”known unknown” of Mr. Rumsfeld.