The report, released on March 2, said Gadhafi's military has virtually
the regime was being protected by mercenaries and other security personnel.
At the same time, the opposition was succeeding in using little more than
light weapons to repel Gadhafi troops.
"The opposition has since become better armed and organized thanks to
the participation of former regime military personnel," the report said.
White said Gadhafi has used all of his military assets against the
rebels. He cited main battle tanks, anti-aircraft guns as well as
fighter-jets and attack helicopters.
As a result, Gadhafi continued to control key areas of western Libya.
His forces were also said to be able to coordinate operations, maintain a
supply line and deploy in numerous areas.
"Yet its limited ability to retake other areas suggests difficulties in
massing and coordinating large forces and a lack of willingness among
certain personnel to engage in serious fighting," the report said.
Gadhafi has been using at least five units against the opposition. The
report cited the conventional military, special forces such as the Khamis
Brigade, militias, mercenaries as well as civilians given light weapons.
The opposition has used civilians as well as soldiers who defected from
the regime. Some of the units have acquired main battle tanks, infantry
fighting vehicles, anti-aircraft guns and anti-tank missiles. But the report
said the opposition remains disorganized.
"The fight for the cities is the primary struggle, but airfields have
emerged as important places from which the regime can assert residual
control, such as supporting air strikes and troop movements," the report
said. "Gadhafi apparently seeks to establish and secure an area of control
from Marsa Al Burayqah in the east to the Tunisian border."
The report said Gadhafi has proven more resilient than expected. But
White said the opposition, with international support, appears to have the
"It has great determination, the support of a significant part of the
population — although not all of it — and control over many key cities,"
the report said. "Meanwhile, the regime has lost much of its military
capacity and has no way to rebuild it, at least in the short term. With no
real foreign allies to call upon, it is essentially fighting to retain
control of an enclave within the country."
Still, White expected a long war in Tripoli. He said Gadhafi could
offer to negotiate and promise reform in an attempt to divide the
"Increasing casualties or a protracted conflict would increase pressure
for external military intervention," the report said.