European military advisers head to Libya to help rebels; Japan will force more evacuations from nuclear fallout zone; US auto industry effected by halt in production at northern Japanese factories; UN Security Council meets to discuss Yemen uprising; US army chief arrives in Pakistan for talks; raid on Rio's biggest slum nets three tonnes of marijuana; and more
Top of the Agenda: France, Italy, UK Send Military Advisors to Libya
The French and Italian governments joined the United Kingdom in pledging military advisors to assist Libyan rebel groups in their deadlocked battle against the Qaddafi regime (NYT). Officials from the two European allies said the small contingent of "liaisons" would serve in organizational and logistical capacities, stressing that there were no plans to send ground troops. British officials emphasized that their team would not arm or train the rebels (Guardian).
The decision to deploy advisors comes amid growing calls for additional humanitarian assistance from desperate groups inside the beleaguered city of Misurata (CNN), where regime forces are impeding effective evacuation. The EU has offered to provide armed escorts to protect aid convoys (al-Jazeera) in Libya, but UN officials said no guards are needed for the time being. The current UN resolution prohibits the use of foreign troops in Libya.
The Pentagon declared it had no plans to send U.S. military advisors, although CIA operatives have been on the ground in eastern Libya to gather intelligence. NATO commanders (WSJ) said they did not yet see a need for ground troops, but stressed the difficulty in dislodging Qaddafi's stranglehold over Misurata.
NATO's failure to apply sufficient military force to oust Qaddafi and protect civilians is a blow to the credibility of the alliance and the United States, says expert Robert E. Hunter.
In the Financial Times, CFR's Ray Takeyh discusses the likelihood of Libya's partition and the realities of the country's putative tribal discord.
In Foreign Affairs, Michael Scott Doran writes that not since the Suez crisis and the Nasser-fueled uprisings of the 1950s has the Middle East seen so much unrest. Understanding those earlier events can help the United States navigate the crisis today.
Track developments in Libya day-by-day through this interactive timeline from the Wall Street Journal.
PACIFIC RIM: Japan to Step up Evacuation Enforcement
Japanese officials said they more strictly enforce the twelve-mile evacuation zone (CNN) around the Fukushima power plant in order to ensure public health. About seventy-eight thousand people live in the restricted area, and many have recently been returning home to recover belongings and check on businesses.
In Foreign Affairs, Marc Levinson writes that as U.S. auto assembly lines grind to a halt for want of components that come from now-disabled factories in northeastern Japan, strategists may be forced to rethink the way globalized companies do business.
China: European companies condemned China's controversial procurement policy (FT) as inefficient and likely corrupt, arguing current policies exclude foreign competition. The criticism comes as Beijing prepares to bid for accession to an international group of countries that allow one another's companies equal access to public contracts.