Libya next target?

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Thu Jan 23 17:59:08 MST 2003


The Asia Times thinks it's a possibility:
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Given the fact that Washington is so focused on the "capability-based" analysis
of potential adversaries these days, Libya has plenty to worry about. Provided
below is an overview of its WMD capabilities.

Libya is signatory to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, but not the comprehensive
test ban treaty. It was reported to be in the market to purchase nuclear weapons
in the early 1970s. That desire itself puts it under constant suspicion of the
nonproliferation community...

Regarding chemical weapons, Libya is suspected to have underground production
capabilities at Tarhunah and Rabta. ...Libya has a record of using small quantities
of mustard agent against Chadian troops in 1987, and is not a signatory of the
Chemical Weapons Convention.

Libya's biological weapons capabilities are reported to be limited to research
and development programs. It has demonstrated no evidence of capabilities to
produce biological weapons, and has ratified the biological weapons convention.
However, given the availability of qualified personnel on the international
market who are willing to sell their services to a prospective buyer, Libya
might be tempted to acquire the expert service, as it attempted to purchase
nuclear weapons in an earlier era.

Washington's chief source of worry involving Libya is its ballistic and cruise
missile capabilities. At the present time, it has Scud-C variant (550 kilometer
range and 500 kilogram payload), and over 100 Scud-B missiles (300 kilometer
range and 985 kilogram payload) ... Libya also has a 15-year-old program to
develop al-Fatah missile (950 kilometer range and 500 kilogram payload), and
a variety of cruise missiles in its inventory.

Given these capabilities, the question is what is the purpose of Libya's acquisition
of WMD capabilities. ... perhaps they reflect a newly found desire to become
a leader of the pan-African movement.

Full story at: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EA24Ak02.html


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