‘We’re New At This’: Libya’s Revolutionaries Learn on the Job

Enthusiastic Rebels Also Disorganized, According to Leaders

Though the rebel faction has netted several military leaders who defected from the Gadhafi regime, their rank and file fighters are largely students, and others with no real military experience, or experience as rebels.

We’re new at this,” noted one of the rebels, and indeed one of the biggest frustrations from military leaders for the rebel side is that, while enthusiastic, their random firing into the air is wasting a lot of ammunition, and their tendancy to cluster into groups is making them targets for air strikes.

At first it was likely easier for the rebels to shrug off their lack of revolutionary experience: after all, who has that sort of experience in the first place? The rebels were making rapid gains in the east and victory seemed assured.

But recent heavy fighting has driven some of the fighters back, and is forcing the rebels to learn on the job as they continue to contest control over the nation. Though analysts see this as a major disadvantage over the mercenary heavy Gadhafi force, it is likely a temporary one, as the violence across the nation will force many to become quick studies.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.