News BlogNorth Africa Libya

The role of the OP4 in the Libyan operation

(BRUSSELS2 at NATO headquarters) OP4 is not a new Italian lodge, nor a new code of an operation. It was simply the group of eight countries — Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, United Kingdom, United States — which carried out the strikes on Libya. A name simply inherited from paragraph (OP4) of United Nations resolution 1973. And a point often little explained in the way operations were carried out on Libya to the Alliance. By meeting several times a week, this sub-group of the NAC (NB: led by the British and the French) made it possible to prepare the Councils, “ by sparing the varied sensitivities of the 28”, explains an officer to B2, but above all by constituting the essential critical mass to obtain the necessary ripple effect and decisions. And apparently, this was not without difficulties, because certain differences were very real around the table, in particular between Europeans and Americans, whether on the tools - the use of helicopters, naval bombardment support (NGS) - ; tactics — "surge" versus "sustain" — strategic communication. Despite all this, this device could become a model for future operations of the Alliance, making it possible to combine flexibility of use and cohesion of the Alliance. A model that is all the more necessary as the United States is withdrawing from European soil.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).