2011 March 22 Tuesday
Libya War To Cost Billions?

What is the return on investment?

The cost could reach up to $800 million to fully establish the no-fly zone and another $100 million a week to maintain it going forward, said Zack Cooper, a senior analyst for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

I sympathize with the people of Libya for having to live under Gaddafi. But what is the benefit to US interests if he is overthrown? The biggest benefit is if we kill the guy who sent out Libyan agents to take down the Pan Am 747 over Lockerbie Scotland. Is there another benefit to the national interest? If so, what is it?

We should not casually take on more ways to spend billions of dollars since we are living beyond our means and need to pull back and retrench.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 March 22 11:30 PM  MidEast Insurgencies

SF said at March 23, 2011 1:06 PM:

If you see a rattlesnake in the woods, it is easy to avoid. But if you poke it with a stick and make it angry, you just about have to kill it. Otherwise, the western world can kiss off access to the Libyan oil. Here is hoping that our military has the technology and somebody has the Machiavellian will to put a missile in his bedroom or his podium and end this quickly. I fear the dirty realism part is not likely. A realist would have made an oil deal in exchange for vetoing the UN resolution.

Jeff Maylor said at March 23, 2011 5:23 PM:

The Libyan oil gets on the world market whether they sell it to the West or not. As long as they sell it to anyone, it puts it on the world market and it becomes available to all. For the most part, I can't see what difference it makes to us who runs any of the Arab countries, as far as oil is concerned. Unless a leader refuses to sell oil AT ALL, then it will quickly be on the world market.

Demolition Man said at March 24, 2011 3:16 AM:

The recent uprising in Tunisia also encouraged revolts in Syria. This time the Assad family, which is a minority that rules Syria by force, is under serious pressure to crush the rebellion.


If the current Syrian dynasty falls. this can seriously weaken the Iranian influence in the region. For this reason, if Gaddafi is overthrown, this can be a good thing. However, it is not guaranteed that after the Iranian influence is eliminated, this time the Muslim Brotherhood or pro-Al Qaeda governments will not gain power in the region.

SF said at March 24, 2011 8:23 AM:

"As long as they sell it to anyone, it puts it on the world market and it becomes available to all."
In normal times, you are right. In a post-peak world of scarcity, there may well be military as well as economic competition for oil. Anyway, oil was not a reason for starting the war in the first place. Kaddafi apparently honored his agreements. He was not a Hugo Chavez.

no i don't said at March 24, 2011 12:46 PM:

"I sympathize with the people of Libya for having to live under Gaddafi"

I know man... Who'd want to live in a counry that has the highest standard of living in the continent? Well that was until a week ago, right?

Oh, by the way:


Lou Pagnucco said at March 25, 2011 8:51 AM:

Several comments:

- Libya has highest per capita income in Africa
(with, I believe, much less concentration of income in the elite)
- the Lockerbie evidence is questionable, quite possibly false
- Liberal/Neocon Rasputin-benevolence is selective - no calls for intervention in much worse situations
- NGOs (and 3-letter agencies) have been destabilizing Libya well in advance
- Hundreds, maybe thousands, of bystanders will die unreported (e.g., as during Noriega removal)
- Costs will enormously exceed published figures (e.g., Iraq)
- Reports of enemy atrocities will be exaggerated, or if necessary, fabricated
- Libyan War does not benefit U.S. security or economy
- Obama Administration says Libyan War is not war
- Hillary, Sarah and the mendacious bunch who orchestrated the last (non-)wars are cheerleaders

Randall Parker said at March 26, 2011 1:18 PM:

Lou, no i don't,

Muammar did not make Libya's living standards high (by Africa standards). Oil did. If Muammar did not have the oil then Libya would be a poor place.

Wealth distribution: His family seems like just another dictatorial group of trough feeders. They've been sucking up the oil money and spending it ostentatiously. My guess is the money flowed beyond Mummar's immediate family in large part to buy loyalties and military equipment and a large personal guard.

Lou Pagnucco said at March 27, 2011 7:12 PM:


Who is extolling his virtues?

It is The Media's extreme self-serving, bogus moral outrage and "empathy" that offends common sense.

Examples of this wildly inconsistent hypocrisy are too obvious to list.

In fairness, though, every country require its citizens to believe many falsehoods.

no i don't said at March 28, 2011 12:43 PM:

"Muammar did not make Libya's living standards high (by Africa standards). Oil did. If Muammar did not have the oil then Libya would be a poor place."

I agree on the first sentence. Not sure on the last one.

A country is not made by its leader, but by its people. Take for example Mexico which is rich in oil and whose economy continues to go round and round -that is down the drain-. I'm not saying that every people deserves its leaders, I'm saying that lately, Libyan people have done a lot better with what they had than most American countries, including the U.S. and let us not forget that the U.S. is also a country very rich in oil, even though it chooses to hide the fact and import.

Furthermore, -and I think you'll agree with me- If Libya has high standard of living, what the hell is NATO invading Libya? Supporting an insurrection of a couple thousand? And though there will always be the inconformity of some in any country, the number of rebels in Lybia is ridiculously low.

I think you'll also like this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiMhdEUe5Fc

Randall Parker said at March 29, 2011 7:04 PM:

no i don't,

Libya and Mexico both have $13,800 per capita GDP according to the CIA World Factbook. Compare Tunisia at $9,500 per capita GDP. Does Tunisia have much oil production?

If you felt ambitious you could take Libya's and Mexico's oil production per year and divide it by their populations to see which one produces more oil per capita. My guess is Libya. But I'm just guessing.

no i don't said at March 30, 2011 12:48 PM:

I'll agree with that, although I wouldn't consider CIA World Factbook as a reliable source for the general public...

But, yes I'd say Libya has a higer standard of living than Mexico, but I will not agree with anybody suggesting to invade Mexico because its lousy past 7 or 8 "presidents" haven't done shit for the country, nor Libya because of Muammar, nor Venezuela because of Hugo.

There's no valid legal argument for attacking or invading another country, except self defense.

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