The Glow of Success

The success of operation Unified Protector in Libya will probably have mixed results in terms of steering the debate over funding and modernization of airpower among NATO partners, according to panelists at AFA’s Air & Space Conference speaking on the recent Libyan campaign. Group Captain J.J. Stringer of the Royal Air Force said: “Will we spend more? No. Will it change the debate? Yes.” Stringer said the rapidity with which the Libya situation grew from international debate to military action illustrates that “you never know what’s coming” and that it’s necessary to be ready for anything. Col. Michel Dupont, French air attaché, said the operation is a nice feather in France’s cap, but “I don’t think it will [cause an increase] in defense spending.” Italian air attaché Col. Flavio Danielis said the operation will likely underline the effectiveness of cooperation and also likely lead to a push for more cooperative international projects. Maj. Gen. Y.J. Blondin of the Royal Canadian Air Force said the success of UP has helped enhance public opinion on the F-35 and other projects the RCAF is pursuing. “We’ll be able to live off this for a few years,” he said.