World News Brief, Tuesday March 22

Allied air strikes protect anti-regime rebels, but Qaddafi forces repel advances (+ analysis & multimedia); Electricity back on at Fukushima plant, but cooling systems not working; Military leaders switch sides in Yemen; Obama holds up Brazil as model for protesting states; and more

Allies Intensify Air Attacks on Qaddafi

The United States and its allies stepped up air attacks on forces loyal to Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi (WSJ), preventing anti-regime rebels from being overrun in the short term. Jets and missiles from coalition militaries struck Libyan targets over the weekend, including air defenses and armored units heading to attack the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. Allied spokesman US Vice Admiral Gortney said the coalition acting against Qaddafi, which originally included Britain, France, Italy, Canada, and the United States, had broadened to include Belgium and Qatar (al-Jazeera). The United States, UK, and France are continuing strikes pursuant to the UN Security Council authorization (BBC) to protect Libyan civilians from government forces, including a no-fly zone. US officials say Qaddafi himself is not a target, however a missile strike has apparently destroyed one of his command centers in Tripoli.

Emboldened rebel fighters tried to retake the strategically important town of Ajdabiya, but were repelled by armored pro-Qaddafi forces. Coalition forces said they were continuing operations despite the Libyan announcement on Sunday night of a second ceasefire (NYT). British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Qaddafi would be judged by his actions, not his words. Oil prices (FT) increased sharply on Monday as traders feared the conflict will keep Libya's oil from the market.


With the United States now militarily engaged in Libya and US allies seemingly at odds over goals, it is imperative that President Obama more clearly define the nation's objectives and the means to achieve them, says CFR's Robert Danin.

In this article for, Josh Rogin examines how Obama made the sudden decision to engage militarily in Libya.


This UN Security Council resolution regarding Libya was passed on March 17, 2011.


This interactive map from the New York Times highlights how the rebellion is unfolding across Libya in a day-to-day breakdown.

In this video from CNN, security analyst Peter Bergen discusses why Libya is not Iraq in 2003.


PACIFIC RIM: Progress Slow at Fukushima Plant

Japanese engineers restored electricity to three reactors at Japan's stricken nuclear plant (BBC), but the cooling systems are not yet operable, and the situation remains very serious, according to the IAEA. Some workers at the facility were evacuated temporarily after smoke was seen billowing from reactor three.

Japan bears only some resemblance to the Asian countries ravaged by the 2004 tsunami, but their recovery experiences could provide valuable insights to leaders in Tokyo, writes CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick.

China: Google accused the Chinese government of interfering with its email service inside the country. Analysts say the announcement further complicates the US company's attempt to push into the world's largest Internet market (FT).



- Yemeni Army Officials Back Uprising
- Progress Slow at Fukushima Plant
- Obama Stresses Human Rights, Democracy in Brazil



This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on