Britain’s Secret War. Newsnight follow up

I came across this today.  Perhaps Britain’s War was not as secret as Newsnight claimed.

Oral Evidence Taken Before the House of Commons Defence Committee, 27 April, 2011.

Q28Mr Brazier: Secretary of State, we have already provided the Libyan opposition with body armour and communications equipment. We and the French have now provided a small number of officers as advisers. Presumably you are satisfied that that falls within the provisions of Resolution 1973. Is that the first step towards directly arming the opposition, and would that fall within the current UN Resolutions?

Dr Fox: No, it is not a first step. We have been careful that this is mentoring, not training. As I said, that comes inside the legal advice we get to make sure that we are always very safely inside Resolution 1973. Our mentoring role is to ensure that the opposition forces are able to organise themselves better, that their logistics are better and the communications are better. We believe that that is vital to their stated role and their ability to help protect the civilian population better. So it is not a first step, nor is it intended to be.

I suggested in my previous post that there was seemingly a sliding scale of what assistance was considered lawful.  It seems Fox was drawing a line here between “mentoring” and “training”.

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About Jason Ralph

Jason Ralph, Professor of International Relations, University of Leeds
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