Libya Opens Gateway for Weapons Inspection
19 December 2003
by Anai Rhoads
Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi has had a stranglehold on the
Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya) since the late 60's.
Combining Islam (97% Sunni Muslim) and Socialism, better known as the Third International
Theory, the leader fought to bring an end to Capitalism and Marxism. Through oil revenue,
Qadhafi employed people to terrorise abroad in order to fulfil his ideal government
well up until the late 80's.
In August of 1981 a dispute arose over whether or not the Gulf of Sidra was international
waters. Coined the "Gulf of Sidra Incident", two Sukoi Su-22 fighter jets engaged two United
States F-14 Tomcats from US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) operating in
the gulf near the line. The US jets shot down the Libyan fighter jets. This incident led the United
States to place an embargo on Libya's oil imports on March 10, 1982.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan sent American warplanes to attack the Libyan cities of
Tripoli and Benghazi in retaliation for the bombing of a Berlin disco where a U.S.
serviceman was killed. While the attack killed his daughter, Qadhafi's life was spared during
the bombing of his barracks.
The leader's interest in overseas terrorism diminished somewhat after the United Nations
imposed sanctions upon Libya in 1992, but because of concerns over weapons programmes had the West keeping a
close eye on Libya and its revolutionary leader. UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs)
passed in 1992 and 1993 obliged Libya to fulfill requirements related to the Pan Am 103
bombing before sanctions could be lifted.There were less restrictions after Libya
acknowledged responsibility for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am airliner 103 over Lockerbie,
Scotland. Qadhafi paid a sum of 2.7 billion dollars to the families of the 270 victims as
compensation for their loss.
Britain recently claimed Libya had been co-operating with North Korea in order to
manufacture scud missiles and even said that Libya was close to making a nuclear bomb.
As Libya now volunteers to allow weapons inspectors into the country, hope is raised that
their example will push Iran and North Korea to open their doors as well.
Libya's missiles are thought to be Scud-B ballistic missiles which have a long range of 186
miles. According to the 2002 report by the Arms Control Association, Libya has the
following known weapons:
- Scud-B (Operational) Range:300 km/1,000 kg
- Scud-C (Potential Acquisition) Range: 550 km/600 kg
- Nodong-1 (Potential Acquisition) Range: 1,300 km/750 kg
The United States' domestically produced weapons which far surpass the distance of the Scud-B
- MX/Peacekeeper (Operational) Range: 11,000 km/ 3,950 kg
- Minuteman III (Operational) Range: 13,000 km/ 1,150 kg
- C-4 Trident I (SLBM) (Operational) 7,400 km/ 1,500 kg
- D-5 Trident II (SLBM) (Operational) Range: 7,400 km/ 2,800 kg
Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) are of ranges 5,500 km and higher. They are viewed as
a serious threat and considered weapons of mass destruction. All four domestic weapons
located in the United States are considered WMDs. Libya's missiles are a threat due to
misuse in neighbouring areas.
There are well over 25 countries which have missile systems in place. Ballistic
missiles were used in the Afghan Civil war, the Gulf War and during the war between Iran
and Iraq. North Korea is trying to develop the Taepo Dong-2, which is an ICBM. This missile
could reach Alaska or Hawaii if positioned and launched.
It is now left up to Libya to disclose data on what weapons programmes they have underway
to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA).
According to the U.S. Energy Department, lifting sanctions on Libya will allow U.S. oil
companies back into the country. The companies once produced more than one million barrels
per day (bpd). This co-operative deal between Libya and the U.S.will increase America's hold
on oil resources.
 Wikipedia - History of Libya
 Arms Control Association Fact Sheets: Worldwide Ballistic
 National Intelligence Center. Ballistic and
Cruise Missile Threat
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