The US top intelligence official, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, has told a Senate panel what has been obvious for any serious observer already for at least a week now: Libyan dictator Gaddafi will privail because of the regime´s superior fire power. It is equally obvious that the White House view - as presented by National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon - is nothing else but wishful thinking.
Unless the international community - in practice the US and NATO - starts to take real action, like putting a no-fly zone in place, madman Gaddafi will continue - and intensify - the slaughtering of his own people.
With forces loyal to Moammar Kadafi continuing to pound and push rebel forces into retreat, America's top intelligence official said the Libyan dictator was likely to prevail in the long term, a fresh indication that the current reliance on diplomacy by Western nations may not be enough to topple him.
The Los Angeles Times:
The Los Angeles Times:
In a blunt assessment, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate panel Thursday that the battlefield momentum had begun to shift toward Kadafi's regime and, because of its superior firepower and logistical capabilities, "I think over the longer term that the regime will prevail."
The retired Air Force general said his assessment was based in part on secret intelligence, which indicated that special military units loyal to Kadafi and equipped with tanks and artillery have been able to maintain and replenish their weapons.
Even if Kadafi doesn't defeat the rebels, Clapper said, Libya could end up split into two or three parts in "a Somali-like situation," which senators said would be disastrous for U.S. interests.
Clapper's comments sent the White House scrambling to organize an unusual on-the-record conference call with reporters by national security advisor Thomas Donilon, who said Clapper's view didn't take into account the pressure the U.S. and other countries were bringing, such as economic sanctions, travel bans and the freezing of assets.
"We've isolated Kadafi and denied him resources," Donilon said. "We're ensuring accountability, building international support and building capabilities to assist the Libyan people. It's a fluid situation and it's not going to be resolved overnight. But … we've acted quite swiftly and steadily to ramp up our efforts," Donilon said.
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