Gennady Yevstafyev, Lieutenant-General, PIR Center Senior Advisor:
I think, Gaddafi is the favorite target of the United States, Britain and some other countries, because unless Gaddafi is removed from the political scene – and, legally, they can’t remove him, they can remove him only through some military action, so-called accidental death during the air raid and so on, because Gaddafi is not only the person controlling the huge oil resources of Libya, it is now clear that Gaddafi is the undisputed leader of the Libyan people, because the attempts to create a coalition of opposition forces is failing all the time, and nobody knows what will come out of it.
There is no comparable leader among the Libyans who has the same influence and the same authority as Gaddafi. But there is another side of the picture. Gaddafi was involved in all kinds of relationships with the Western world, through his sons, himself, through a very important person about whom nobody talks very much. His name is Musa Kusa.
He is the present foreign minister of Libya. Musa Kusa was the head of Libyan secret service. Maybe, he is in the same position even now. And through Musa Kusa, Libya discusses the problem of the Libyan nuclear program, chemical program, and through Musa Kusa Gaddafi made a deal renouncing his nuclear program.
Through Musa Kusa, I am afraid – I can’t claim it, because I don’t have enough proofs for that – but through Musa Kusa Gaddafi was financing numerous leaders in European countries, and helped them in their election campaigns, and so on, and so on.
So, Gaddafi is, in a way, a person who keeps too many secrets, and his son’s statement about the financing of the election campaign of Mr. Sarkozy in the amount of $ 50mln is going to become a point of judicial interrogation, and I believe it will come sooner or later after the Libyan campaign. So, Gaddafi is a person who keeps too many secrets and too many challenges to the Western world. If they remove Gaddafi, there is no legitimate leader of Libya, and then they can do whatever they want. And I think the ground operation cannot start unless Gaddafi is alive.
To find out more on the issue, read or listen to our In Focus program from March 24, 2011 in Radio section.