We are now in the 84th day of the bombing campaign that the United Nations Security Council authorized to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya in a bid to protect civilians from Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. In a bizarre development, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has said it will extend the campaign for 90 days, surely a first in the history of war when one side “extends the contract” for a set period. This presumably occurred because NATO’s strategy is still based on the flimsy hope that Colonel Gadhafi will see the error of his ways and capitulate before his surroundings and his supporters are bombed back to the Stone Age.
NATO’s obsession with its strategy of hope was tried once before in 1999, with the bombing of Serbia and the breakaway province of Kosovo. A myth that the 78-day bombing campaign persuaded Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his forces from Kosovo continues to grow despite overwhelming facts to the contrary.