As we reach the 80 day mark of intervention in Libya, NATO has extended their mission by another 90 days, though my guess is that we have only a week or two left. The conclusion of the Libyan revolution is so close I can taste it.
Russia, who initially abstained from voting on the imposition of the no-fly-plus on Libya, finally voiced its support for the National Transitional Coucil (NTC). Jordan has also recognized the NTC and is in the process of establishing a diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
On Monday eight high-ranking libyan officers (five of whom were generals) who had escaped to Italy called on the remaining few generals to follow their example, and abandon the regime. Estimates place the number of remaining generals at less then ten. The degradation of Qaddafi’s command and control can be seen in the utter failure of his military to achieve anything resembling success against anything other than lightly armed mountain villages.
The police and military enforcement in Tripoli are now making heavy use of motorcycles, instead of the trucks and jeeps that were previously the norm, suggesting that the fuel shortage is at a critical stage. The humanitarian situation in Tripoli is reaching disastrous proportions, with food and water almost gone.
Tripoli is now seeing small protests and guerrilla attacks against the government on a daily basis, and the NATO bombings have accelerated over the past few days. Rumor has it that Qaddafi is sleeping in Tripoli-area hospitals for fear of coalition airstrikes.
Meanwhile the RAF has started to use Apache helicopters, enabling much more precise targeting for their strikes (though this comes at a somewhat higher risk to the pilots).
South African president Jacob Zuma visited Libya on Monday and met with Qaddafi to discuss a peace settlement. The outcome of the conversation was pretty much a bust – Qaddafi is adamant in his refusal to step down, which is a deal-breaker for the NTC. (shortly after Zuma left Tripoli the city was subjected to a massive wave of NATO air strikes)
Overall, things are still going slowly and steadily against Qaddafi.
Anyone who uses the word "stalemate" is in denial and/or an idiot.