Moreover, criticisms have been made on the way the operation was led. According to Michael Kometer and Stephen Wright, the outcome of the Libyan intervention was reached by default rather than by design. It appears that there was an important lack of consistent political guidance caused particularly by the vagueness of the UN mandate and the ambiguous consensus among the NATO-led coalition. This lack of clear political guidance was translated into an incoherent military planning on the operational level. Such a gap may impact the future NATO's operations that will probably face trust issues.
In 2015 through 2016 the British parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee conducted an extensive and highly critical inquiry into the British involvement in the civil war. It concluded that the early threat to civilians had been overstated and that the significant Islamist element in the rebel forces had not been recognised, due to an intelligence failure. By summer 2011 the initial limited intervention to protect Libyan civilians had become a policy of regime change. However that new policy did not include proper support for a new government, leading to a political and economic collapse in Libya and the growth of ISIL in North Africa. The Foreign Affairs Select Committee saw no evidence that the UK Government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya and it "selectively took elements of Muammar Gaddafi's rhetoric at face value; and it failed to identify the militant Islamist extremist element in the rebellion. UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence". The former Prime Minister David Cameron was ultimately responsible for this British policy failure.
A 2013 paper by Alan Kuperman argued that NATO went beyond its remit of providing protection for civilians and instead supported the rebels by engaging in regime change. It argued that NATO's intervention likely extended the length (and thus damage) of the civil war, which Kuperman argued could have ended in less than two months without NATO intervention. The paper argued that the intervention was based on a misperception of the danger Gadaffi's forces posed to the civilian population, which Kuperman suggests was caused by existing bias against Gadaffi due to his past actions (such as support for terrorism), sloppy and sensationalistic journalism during the early stages of the war and propaganda from anti-government forces. Kuperman suggests that this demonization of Gadaffi, which was used to justify the intervention, ended up discouraging efforts to accept a ceasefire and negotiated settlement, turning a humanitarian intervention into a dedicated regime change.
|Funds spent by Foreign Powers on War in Libya.|
|United Kingdom||US$336–1,500 million||September 2011 (estimate)|
|United States||US$896–1,100 million||October 2011|
|Italy||€700 million EUR||October 2011|
|France||€450 million EUR||September 2011|
|Turkey||US$300 million||July 2011|
|Denmark||€120 million EUR||November 2011|
|Belgium||€58 million EUR||October 2011|
|Spain||€50 million EUR||September 2011|
|Sweden||US$50 million||October 2011|
|Canada||$50 million CAD in|
On 10 June, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates criticized some of the NATO member nations for their efforts, or lack thereof, to participate in the intervention in Libya. Gates singled out Germany, Poland, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands for criticism. He praised Canada, Norway and Denmark, saying that although those three countries had only provided 12% of the aircraft to the operation, their aircraft had conducted one-third of the strikes.
On 24 June, the US House voted against Joint Resolution 68, which would have authorized continued US military involvement in the NATO campaign for up to one year. The majority of Republicans voted against the resolution, with some questioning US interests in Libya and others criticizing the White House for overstepping its authority by conducting a military expedition without Congressional backing. House Democrats were split on the issue, with 115 voting in favor of and 70 voting against. Despite the failure of the President to receive legal authorization from Congress, the Obama administration continued its military campaign, carrying out the bulk of NATO's operations until the overthrow of Gadaffi in October.
On 9 August, the head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova deplored a NATO strike on Libyan State TV, Al-Jamahiriya, that killed 3 journalists and wounded others. Bokova declared that media outlets should not be the target of military activities. On 11 August, after the NATO airstrike on Majer (on 9 August) that allegedly killed 85 civilians, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all sides to do as much as possible to avoid killing innocent people.
The military intervention in Libya has been cited by the Council on Foreign Relations as an example of the responsibility to protect policy adopted by the UN at the 2005 World Summit. According to Gareth Evans, "[t]he international military intervention (SMH) in Libya is not about bombing for democracy or Muammar Gaddafi's head. Legally, morally, politically, and militarily it has only one justification: protecting the country's people." However, the Council also noted that the policy had been used only in Libya, and not in countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, undergoing a political crisis at the time, or in response to protests in Yemen. A CFR expert, Stewert Patrick, said that "There is bound to be selectivity and inconsistency in the application of the responsibility to protect norm given the complexity of national interests at stake in...the calculations of other major powers involved in these situations." In January 2012, the Arab Organization for Human Rights, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and the International Legal Assistance Consortium published a report describing alleged human rights violations and accusing NATO of war crimes.
Reaction within Libya
According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2012, 75% of Libyans were in favor of the NATO intervention, compared to 22% who were opposed. A 2011 Orb International poll also found broad support for the intervention, with 85% of Libyans saying that they strongly supported the action taken to remove the Ghadafi regime.
U.S. House of Representatives