March 07, 2011

Oh, For a New AVG

As speculation leaks out this morning that Syria aircraft and ground troops may be fighting Libyan rebels on behalf of Qaddafi's dictatorship, it makes me wonder how many lives might eventually be saved if there was a way for forming something like the American Volunteer Group that fought for the Chinese in world War II. You probably know them better as the Flying Tigers.

flying tigers

With the cost of today's 4th and now 5th generation jet fighters there is no reasonable expectation of a volunteer force fighting a direct air-to-air war against modern (or nearly modern) fighters, but even a single squadron of generation's old close-air support and observation aircraft could bring this conflict to a quicker and hopefully less costly end. Modern piston-drive COIN aircraft such as the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 or the EMB-314 Super Tucano could level the playing field for the rebels, as they are more than capable of taking on the improvised gun trucks and tanks of Qaddafi's loyalists and mercenaries, and quite frankly, could probably do so with a bit more accuracy (and collateral damage) than the jet aircraft the dictator's forces have been using.

The AT-6 is even familiar to many pilots; the trainer version of the plane is the primary trainer the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy pilots and the pilots of 19 other nations.

Like the original AVG, the pilots and ground crews of this theoretical group would be made up of men that volunteered to serve, flying planes loaned to the besieged rebels. At or near the end of the conflict, with the tables decisively turned, the aircraft could be returned to their originating nations or "donated" to the new government for oil.

I know that the odds of any nation loaning the Libyan rebels aircraft and crews is almost non-existent, but I have to wonder ho many lives might be saved and how much shorter the conflict would be if this relatively modest investment (in military terms) could be used to break what increasingly looks like a bloody and protracted stalemate that may cost thousands of lives.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 7, 2011 11:19 AM

I believe that the modern coin aircraft listed are turbo-props, not piston engined.

Posted by: jon spencer at March 7, 2011 01:26 PM

I fully support people putting their own lives on the line to satisfy their convictions. I am not so supportive of providing them with taxpayer assistance in the form of planes, fuel, munitions or training. The only inference that one can take from such support is that America is taking sides in an internal conflict. It is a short walk from there to blood for oil mantras and calls to expel the infidels. I believe we don't have a dog in that fight so we should just mind our own business. Sure, everyone wants us on their side. But their gratitude is fleeting and comes at the price of alienating everyone else.

My personal preference is to let the entire Islamic world burn itself to a cinder in ceaseless internal conflicts that leave it no time for interest in us.

Posted by: Professor hale at March 7, 2011 01:34 PM

Technically, I believe the AVG were members of the militia, American military pilots on extended leave without pay, and were folded back into the Regular Army Air Force or their respective services as the war turned in the favor of the allies.

Posted by: Meredith C. Walters at March 7, 2011 03:23 PM

Has anyone thought of hiring Executive Outcomes? They offered to stop the Rwandan Genocide if someone would pay their expenses if I recall correctly.

Posted by: Will Butler at March 7, 2011 10:28 PM

The Flying Tigers had covert Presidential sanction and major financial assistance slipped to them roundabout from FDR. Our current president hasn't the cojones to even covertly suggest such a stand, much less risk an approval rating point on the very thought.

Posted by: Tully at March 7, 2011 10:39 PM

Why are you rooting for the Taliban/AQ/Muslim Brotherhood here?
Khadaffi is doing the world a favour by killing the guys and you want to make it harder for him?

Posted by: JTW at March 8, 2011 05:36 AM

Is that what Obambi is afraid of? That by openly opposing Khaddafi he might benefit the Muslim Brotherhood? Well, then why doesn't he just say so, instead of standing around with his thumb up his ass.

I haven't heard our president voicing any concerns over who is running the revolt- if it is the MB then shouldn't he be bringing that to our attention? Maybe then he wouldn't look so damn
weak and pathetic.

So far the only 'leader' who has described the revolt as being run by 'the Taliban/AQ' is Khaddafi himself. Hardly a credible source.

Obambi is rapidly proving himself a petty little bully. He quite happy to push around his domestic opponents when he has both houses of Congress and the entire MSM on his side. But faced with anyone actually willing and able to hit back and he freezes up and then goes into ostrich mode.

Posted by: ThomasD at March 8, 2011 11:39 AM

Lybia and Syria vs. Egypt and the rebels sounds like a first round tournament game.

Posted by: bman at March 8, 2011 05:12 PM

Interesting thought for a new AVG/CAT/Air America. Their true bravery will never fully come out in the public eye. There seem to be lots of calls to go out and hire Executive Outcomes as they were every effective and trustworthy. Unfortunately for all of us EO is no longer in business. The founder still blogs regularly at:

It is a very classy website and Mr Barlow politely answers all questions if they are relevant and do not contain profanity, garbage, insults etc.

For all the grief good PMC take, like the foulness directed (and still directed) at EO eventually good people have to sit back and re-group. There is massive rot in the media - and unfortunately a majority of voters believe their garbage.

Posted by: John at March 8, 2011 11:25 PM


That is:

"....very effective"

Sorry all

Posted by: John at March 8, 2011 11:26 PM