How to win a civil war?

Don’t overestimate the military dimension, the law matters too:

In what may be the most significant development of the civil war since the Western airstrikes began, the rebels just declared the formation of a new “Libyan Oil Company,” and “the designation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya.”

This is really important. It means that a rebel government, recognized by France, now has an oil company and a central bank.

Here is more.  The next step is to get them targeting nominal gdp.


"The next step is to get them targeting nominal gdp."

I admit, this made my day

That killed me too.

Oh-no, I just laughed out loud to an econ in-joke.

Don't feel too bad, I had to explain laughing out loud to an econ in-joke to my boyfriend.

They haven't even won the war yet and already they gave up on a true revolution.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

From the perspective of an ex-analyst, this is a move for the long game. A majority of the oil flows through Benghazi which Gadaffi relies on to keep his coffers topped off, mercenaries paid, and police / army bried. IF (considering deficit hawks in the United States, anti-EU sentiment within the German government, and fears of refugees driving Italy to back off on their NATO commitments) the no-fly zone stays in place for at least a few months, the rebels could starve Gadaffi and his regime boosting their ability to procure arms.

That last run-on sentence should have ended:
"the rebels choudl starve Gadaffi and his regime while boosting their ability to procure arms for a future offensive."

"boosting their ability to procure arms"

Giving the U.S. the opportunity to arm yet another future enemy.

As with Iraq, it'll probably be China, Russia, and France who do the most arms selling.

Why has France recognized the rebel government as the official government? This rebel government isn't any more democratic than Qaddafi's. Have they proven their legitimacy by the mere act of rebelling?

They don't want a bunch of poor refugees fleeing to France and demanding welfare state handouts. A prolonged civil war or a violent Qaddafi would result in mass emigration.

Maybe we can airdrop in Alan Greenspan.

Would that be a help or hindrance to the rebels?

Don't know but how long before the rebels find their hands full of Austrian types aggravating for a gold standard or free banking?

@dirk : France's behavior is determined by two elements. First Sarkozy needed a bold move to look good for his electorate. Second it's a bet that the rebel will be thankful for the early french support and give them a fat oil deal. Baiscally it's a win-win for everyone except gaddafy.

France, IIRC, has something of a history of supporting rebels.

Just keep repeating,

while clicking your magic ruby slippers together,

"It's not about oil."

It’s not about oil. It’s not about oil. It’s not about oil.
Oh hey! Gas prices dropped 10 cents, yippeee!

Interesting, but if Saif and his brothers are not offered a safe retirement haven, then soon the people in Benghazi will have to rename it to the Cyrenaica Oil Company.

I wonder whether Khaddafi will be willing to destroy parts of the aquifer-tapping project (Great Man-Made River) that his regime worked to build, if it becomes militarily useful to do so. Benghazi would have quite a shortfall of water if that happened. Of course the threat is stronger than the execution, and in any case he has enough personal pride wrapped up in the project that he might not be willing to pull such a move.

I wouldn't find that at ALL surprising. There's personal pride and then there's the affront offered to his pride by their mere revolution.

Wow, an aquifer-tapping project? Obviously he's been playing too much of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.

I'm just kidding of course, it's not possible to play too much of that game. Morganite supremacy!

Very interesting. Next question: in the last few days we've frozen $30-odd billion in wealth held by Libyan government and Gadafi's family. The former, at any rate, can be legally given to the successor government. (See At what point does France push for giving these assets to the rebels' central bank, and at what point do we say yes?

Comma splice: go to your room.

I'm going to assume that joke was aimed at David Beckworth and Bill Woolsey. :)

The United States is pretty stubborn, and France can be as well when she feel it is within her sphere of influence. France tangled with Libya over Chad in the Toyota Wars.

khadafi's early strategy (heavy use of mercenaries) was well thought out. But he needed to keep his mouth shut about threats to his enemies when he was going for the kill. My guess is he will keep pushing to eliminate his opponents on the ground before he has foreign boots on the ground to worry about. But it is probably too late for that.

If Khadafi destroys his own infrastructure he risks loosing the ability to fund his operations. So long as they are viable, I am sure someone will lend him money against future revenue.

For someone who is supposed to be crazy/delusional, he has come awfully close to success.

Why a joke? Is there any reason why they *shouldn't* target nominal gdp? Seriously.

Or airdrop Scott Sumner. Bet he was in ecstacy reading this.

So how does a country get a "sweet deal" for oil? I can see how BP or Total or Exxon might benifit by getting access to prime reserves. But can the US or France really get cheaper gas to their people this way? Lot of talk about countries protecting their strategic oil interests but isn't oil a highly commoditized market? If you remove taxes and transportation costs is there much of a difference in the per gallon price of diesel in the countries of the western world? In recent history can people name military interventions that got the agressor nation cheaper gas prices in the years that followed compared to the rest of the world?

Target NGDP AFTER targeting that T-72

Exactly the first needs of true democracies:a new oil company! Btw: do you also stll believe in Santa?

So we are helping a rebel group (supported by France) to take charge of Libyan oil? Just weeks before BP is set to drill off the Libyan coast?

how to win a civil war? xm..nice question! but my answer is not like Kandafi what he is doing!!

NJbGXa I'm not easily impressed. . . but that's impressing me! :)

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