Moammar Gadhafi Will Prevail in Libya if Stalemate Drags On, Intel Director Says
Director of national intelligence: Moammar Gadhafi has no intention of leaving.
March 10, 2011 -- Col. Moammar Gadhafi will prevail if the current stalemate in Libya drags on and the rebels are "in for a tough road," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress today.
Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss worldwide threats, Clapper said it is the intelligence community's assessment that "Gadhafi is in this for the long haul."
"We don't think he has any intention -- despite the press speculation to the contrary -- of leaving," Clapper said. "From all the evidence we have ... he appears to be hunkering down for the duration."
In Clapper's view, the situation in Libya will come down to who has the greater logistical resources at hand and, Clapper said, "I think that, from a standpoint of attrition, that over time [with] this kind of a stalemate back and forth ... I think in the longer term that the regime will prevail.
"I think the regime has more logistical resources, in terms of the equipment they have," Clapper said. "The first line equipment anywhere in Libya is held by the regime forces."
There are two special Libyan Army brigades that "are very, very loyal to Gadhafi and do his bidding," Clapper said. "They're the most robustly equipped -- to include air defense, artillery, tanks, mechanized equipment -- and they appear to be much more disciplined about how they treat and repair that equipment."
By design those brigades were the most loyal to Gadhafi and the most "luxuriously equipped and the best trained," he said.
Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the committee that the "media had it about right" that the initial momentum was with the forces opposed to Gadhafi, but that it has now started to shift.
"We have now reached a state of equilibrium where the initiative, if you will, may actually be on the regime side," said Burgess. "But we're watching that in these days" because it remains unclear if it is fully in Gadhafi's favor.