As Britain continues to draw up its plans to participate in an Italian-led invasion of Libya, political figures continue to maintain that the mission will officially be a “training” mission, and not one of combat.
Despite this, British military officials are quoted as saying that the vast majority of the estimated 1,000 British troops to be sent would be “protection” forces, and that only a very small fraction of the troops would ever engage in training.
It is common, in overseas deployments, for nations to include some “protection” troops to protect the other troops being sent. Libya is such a wreck, however, that keeping even a small contingent of legitimate “trainers” safe requires a major deployment of combat forces.
The whole “training” conceit is likely to evaporate pretty quickly at any rate, as the Libyan unity government on whose imprimatur the invasion would be predicated has virtually no real military of its own, and hence not much for the 6,000-troop Western European invasion force to “train.”
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