Libya’s Rebels Still in Disarray, US Warns

Allies See East Libya's Military as 'Hopeless'

by Jason Ditz, April 14, 2011

It is a recurring theme since the massive protests in East Libya became a civil war – the rebel forces are full of vigor, but light on experience. Indeed, they are so disorganized that they can’t stand up to the regime’s forces.

One would have assumed, over a month later, that the rebels had gotten their act together. This appears not to be the case, however, as Western nations, particularly the US, are warning that the rebels remain “hopelessly” disorganized.

The rebels have some defectors, but their rank and file are largely student protesters turned would-be fighters. They seem to be able to keep the regime out of their capital of Benghazi, but attempts at an offensive always stall.

US officials say that is unlikely to change, and while NATO is backing the rebels with air support, it could take many years from them to have a fighting force capable of conquering the western cities.

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