Such as a “no fly zone” over all of northern Africa, spreading across the globe, because while we broke Muammar Gaddafi’s army, we didn’t fix the problem of tens of thousands of mobile surface-to-air missiles.
As reported by the Christian Science Monitor:
At newly discovered weapons-storage sites, thousands of shoulder-held surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) are unaccounted for. At one unguarded facility, empty packing crates and documents reveal that 482 sophisticated Russian SA-24 missiles were shipped to Libya in 2004, and now are gone. With a range of 11,000 feet, the SA-24 is Moscow’s modern version of the American “stinger,” which in the 1980s helped the US-backed Afghan mujahideen turn their war against the Soviet Union….
“If these weapons fall in the wrong hands, all of North Africa will be a no-fly zone,” says Peter Bouckaert, the emergencies director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), who has brought a number of weapons-storage sites to the NTC’s attention.
The weapons already are in the wrong hands, having been smuggled into Gaza:
Terror groups based in Gaza have acquired anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets from Libya during its six-month civil war, Israeli officials told Reuters on Monday.
The officials said the weapons from Libya have enlarged, but not significantly improved, the arsenal in Gaza. They emphasized that while the rebellion against Muammar Qaddafi has stirred concern abroad about the fate of Libya’s chemical weapons stockpiles, there is no indication Hamas or other Gaza-based terror groups have sought them.
They noted, however, that an inflow of SA-7 anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) has been detected as entering Gaza. One official described an overland supply route that opened up between eastern Libya, after it fell to the rebels, and the Gaza Strip, via Egypt.
Smuggling into Gaza in many ways is the least of the problems, because there are no commercial flights at risk and the Israeli military knows how to deal with anti-aircraft missiles. More worrisome is that the missiles will fall into the hands of random al-Qaeda groups and will be used against defenseless commercial aviation.
This all was entirely predictable. We faced the same problem when the Iraqi Army fell in 2003, but in that case we had boots on the ground able to address the problem. Here, Libya is chaos now.
So when one of these weapons ends up in the wrong hands and is used, call it what you will, but don’t call it “unexpected.”