The Campaign Spot

Uh-Oh: Less Than 1,000 Fighting Qaddafi?

Has the United States backed a insurrectionist force that is simply too undermanned to achieve its goal of overthrowing Qaddafi? Have we committed ourselves to a military action in which our key ally and ground force is incapable of accomplishing our primary objective?

If this reporter in Benghazi has an accurate head count, it appears the answer is yes:

During “In the Arena,” Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer for The New Yorker reporting from Benghazi, Libya, tells Eliot Spitzer that the number of opposition fighters on the front lines are fewer than anyone would think and that they are poorly armed and badly trained. Anderson says, “Effective number of fighting men, well under 1,000. Actual soldiers, who are now in the fight, possibly in the very low hundreds on the opposition side.”

For comparison, there are roughly 5,000 members worldwide of the 501st Legion, a group of Star Wars fans who dress up like stormtroopers and other characters from the movies.

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