News / Africa

US Intelligence Chief: Gadhafi Likely to Defeat Rebels

A rebel fighter fires a rocket-propelled grenade in front of a gas storage terminal during a battle on the road between Ras Lanuf and Bin Jiwad, Mar 9 2011
A rebel fighter fires a rocket-propelled grenade in front of a gas storage terminal during a battle on the road between Ras Lanuf and Bin Jiwad, Mar 9 2011

The top U.S. intelligence official says Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi will likely be able to withstand efforts by anti-government rebels to topple him. The director of national intelligence said Thursday that Mr. Gadhafi has no intention of leaving.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that, given the advantage of superior troops and weapons, Moammar Gadhafi will likely defeat the rebels who are trying to oust him.

"They're [i.e., Libyan armed forces] the most robustly equipped, with Russian equipment that includes air defense, artillery, tanks, mechanized equipment. And they appear to be much more disciplined about how they treat and repair that equipment," said Clapper. "So I just think from a standpoint of attrition that over time, I mean this kind of a stalemate back and forth, but I think that over the longer term that the regime will prevail."

Appearing before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Clapper dismissed the notion that Mr. Gadhafi is ready to step down or come to an agreement with the rebels.

James R. Clapper, Jr., Director of National Intelligence, testifies on Capitol Hill before the Senate Armed Services committee hearing on current and future worldwide threats to U.S. national security, March 10 2011
James R. Clapper, Jr., Director of National Intelligence, testifies on Capitol Hill before the Senate Armed Services committee hearing on current and future worldwide threats to U.S. national security, March 10 2011

"We believe that Gadhafi is in this for the long haul. I don't think he has any intention, despite some of the press speculation to the contrary, of leaving.  From all evidence that we have, which I'd be prepared to discuss in closed session, he appears to be hunkering down for the duration," Clapper said.

Army Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, agreed with Clapper’s assessment, saying that Moammar Gadhafi has “staying power.” He said the rebels had the initial advantage, but that attrition is taking its toll.

"I think the press had it about right in terms of initially the momentum was with the other side. That has started to shif," said Burgess. "Whether or not it has fully moved to Gadhafi's side at this time in country, I think, is not clear at this time. But we have now reached a state of equilibrium where the initiative, if you will, may actually be on the regime side at this time. But we're watching that in these days right now."

According to an assessment by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, the rebels are disorganized, lack sufficient training and are equipped primarily with small arms such as automatic rifles, machine guns and anti-aircraft guns mounted on pickup trucks.

Clapper told the Senate committee that the rebels are at the mercy of Libyan aircraft, but he added that rebel casualties from planes and helicopters have not been great.

The two intelligence officers faced questioning from senators who want the Obama administration to take action to help the rebels, such as setting a no-fly zone and granting some form of diplomatic recognition for the rebels’ self-styled interim government.

But Clapper said that setting up a no-fly zone is not a simple task. He called the threat from Libya's air defense system “substantial,” noting that Libya has ground radar protecting coastal areas, where some 80 percent of the population lives, with about 30 major surface-to-air missile sites as well as portable surface-to-air missiles.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More