- France has been parachuting rifles, machine-guns, light armored vehicles and RPGs into western Libya for the rebels to defend themselves, and
- UK will send 5000 sets of body armor and uniforms, and
- The folks in Misrata are asking for the same treatment …
We have seen what these folks can do with rifles and pickups. There’s nothing like body armor to inspire confidence in troops who are actually being trained and have had experience. If NATO takes care of the artillery/armor of Gaddafi, these folks will have regime-change very soon. I expect that either Tripoli will be isolated or invaded by columns of troops sooner rather than later. The rebels have a priority of securing Libya against Gaddafi. This equipment will allow them to do that promptly. Then it is just a matter of time to decide whether Tripoli should be invaded by land, sea, or air by day or night. I expect plans are being developed now that put to use 10-15000 determined fighters.
Gaddafi still has much armor and manpower but he does not have enough to secure Tripoli. Infiltration can occur, which will draw Gaddafi’s forces to repel invaders whereupon a breakthrough can be made at other points. Once inside Tripoli, Gaddafi’s armor will become impotent if the RPGs work. Then it will be a war of attrition to liberate Tripoli. The rebels have proved they can persist and take ground from Gaddafi without the new toys. Once they taste the sea-air of Tripoli they will advance rapidly.