The Cauldron: NATO's Campaign in Libya

The Cauldron: NATO's Campaign in Libya

by Rob Weighill, Florence Gaub


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In March 2011, NATO launched a mission hitherto entirely unthinkable: to protect civilians against Libya's ferocious regime, solely from the air. NATO had never operated in North Africa, or without troops on the ground; it also had never had to move as quickly as it did that spring. It took seven months, 25,000 air sorties, 7,000 combat strike missions, 3,100 maritime hailings and nearly 400 boardings for Tripoli to fall. This book tells for the first time the whole story of this international drama, spanning the hallways of the United Nations in New York, NATO Headquarters in Brussels and, crucially, the two operational epicentres: the Libyan battlefield, and Joint Force Command Naples, which was in charge of the mission. Weighill and Gaub offer a comprehensive exploration of both the war's progression and the many challenges NATO faced, from its extremely rapid planning and limited understanding of Libya and its forces, to training shortfalls and the absence of post-conflict planning. Theirs is a long-awaited account of the Libyan war: one that truly considers all the actors involved.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190916220
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Pages: 392
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Rob Weighill is a retired major-general and independent consultant operating in strategic risk, resilience and defence. He spent five years at NATO's multinational headquarters in Naples, led the planning of NATO's Libyan intervention and directed operations from Joint Force Command.

Florence Gaub is Deputy Director at the EU Institute for Security Studies; previously, she was employed at NATO Defense College. Her first book, Guardians of the Arab State: When Militaries Intervene in Politics, from Iraq to Mauritania, also available from Oxford University Press.

Table of Contents

Introduction: how it all began
Chapter 1: From Benghazi to Bagnoli
Chapter 2: The war begins — and NATO thinks about it
Chapter 3: JFC- Naples takes over
Chapter 4: A summer of stalemate
Chapter 5: Tripoli falls, and Gaddafi with it
The Aftermath: of success and failure

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