Libya mission shows gaps in military capabilities

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The NATO mission in Libya was and is unlike any other the organization has ever conducted. From the beginning, the U.S. did not want to take the lead role like they usually do in NATO missions. The idea of them being so involved in another war during a bad economy and the notion that they would technically be leading three wars in the three Muslim countries would play bad politically for them. Therefore, they wanted to participate but let the European NATO powers take the lead. This allowed the world to see the true capabilities of the European militaries, as well as the U.S. military.

From the beginning, the U.S. was unable to be in the background like they wanted because they needed to use their tomahawk missiles to take out key Libyan radar and anti-aircraft installations. This is something that no other country on earth can do. No one else has the information on where these targets are except the U.S. and no one else can launch all those missiles at them. Without the U.S. involvement, NATO would be at greater risk of sustaining damage to their aircraft and pilots.

Now, we are seeing that only the U.S. has the information and technical know how to locate, secure and handle the chemical weapons that Gaddafi is holding in Libya. Without the U.S. being involved in this effort, the world is at much greater risk of these weapons landing in terrorist hands (this is still an ongoing mission in its early stages).

Essentially, the Libya mission showed the world how much more capable and powerful the U.S. military is than not only every other country, but all of Europe and then some put together. The unique capabilities that the U.S. military has are also not something that Europe or other nations can develop or purchase.

The U.S. was trying to take a step back from costly military confrontations by letting Europe take the lead in this mission. In a weird way however, it resulted in the world being more dependent on U.S. military involvement for the future.