Coalition forces have stepped up their cooperation with Libyan rebels, with France and Italy announcing yesterday that they would send military liaisons and advisers, and the US saying it would send them $25 million worth of non-lethal equipment like body armor, tents, and vehicles, the Washington Post reports. The moves are a telling sign that this war will drag on, military analysts tell the New York Times.
“Some countries thought the Libya operation could be over quickly,” said one senior NATO ambassador. “But no military commander thinks so.” By hiding among civilians, Gadhafi’s forces have largely blunted NATO’s attack power, and consolidated their grip on western Libya. “Gadhafi’s people are feeling quite confident,” one European security official tells Reuters, predicting that the conflict will ultimately result in a “de facto partition for a long time to come.”