Operations in Libya

19 July 2011

The Defence Committee today announces a major new inquiry into Operations in Libya.

On 17 March 2011 the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1973 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter which authorised the use of force for the purposes of enforcing a no-fly zone and protecting civilians and civilian areas targeted by the Gaddafi regime and its supporters.

The ongoing NATO mission, led by UK and French Forces, supported by US and some regional country forces, continues under this mandate.

The Committee will inquire into the effectiveness of the operation and the UK Forces’ role in Libya. The Committee is particularly interested in:

  • The effectiveness of the ongoing mission to protect civilians in Libya - the extent and success of coordination of efforts with French and US forces in particular;
  • The costs of the operation and its implications for other UK operations;
  • how capability decisions taken in the SDSR and subsequent policy documents have affected our contribution in Libya;
  • the implications of this operation for the outcomes of the SDSR;
  • the effectiveness of NATO command structures in the preparation and conduct of operations in Libya;
  • the “end game”: what would a successful outcome look like and how do current operations contribute to achieving this?;
  • the extent to which the UK and NATO are interacting with and supporting the opposition forces in Libya;
  • whether the necessary planning is being done to ensure the long-term stability of Libya when the military effort is complete;and
  • What is our exit strategy?

Time permitting, the Committee will also be considering:

  • the contributions of allies and partner nations in delivering a successful military intervention;
  • the broader implications of the intervention in Libya in the context of reacting to instability in the wider region

How to respond

The Committee is inviting written submissions on the above and other matters relevant to the inquiry. A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and should have ‘Operations in Libya’ in the subject line. Submissions should be received by Friday 9 September 2011.

If you have any queries on the submission of evidence contact Ian Thomson, Inquiry Manager, tel: 020 7219 6951, email:


Image: PA

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