British think tank: Libya campaign needed luck

A Libyan rebel reacts to news of accidental NATO airstrike against anti-Gaddafi units nearby, April 7, 2011.

From David Stringer, the AP:  The NATO-led air campaign in Libya needed luck to overcome its initially haphazard command, complex new international partnerships and the withdrawal of the United States from a leading role, a top military think tank says.

The London-based Royal United Services Institute said in a report published Friday that the "curious operation" – which was unlike recent troop-heavy combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and involved a broad cluster of nations – succeeded only through a mix of "improvisation, innovation, and good luck. . . ."

The RUSI report predicted the relationship between the United States and its other NATO allies would be strained by the campaign, with the alliance more likely to rely on European leadership in the future. Working alongside a cluster of non-NATO nations – who needed to be integrated into a command structure – will likely also become more common.  (photo: AP)

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