(WASHINGTON) -- With debate raging in Washington over whether the U.S. government should arm Libyan rebels who are seeking to oust Col. Moammar Gadhafi, ABC News got some perspective Monday from David Kilcullen, an expert on counter-insurgency techniques.
Kilcullen, an author and former adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, said the U.S. should think about its role as “kind of like the air referee.”
“Oversee what's going on on the ground from the air and ensure that nobody, regardless of what their political orientation is, takes it out on civilians,” Kilcullen said. “I think there's a lot of validity to that, and I think it's very much of an achievable ambition.”
He warned against the wisdom of trying to arm rebel forces.
“This isn't a gun culture where people are all very skilled up in operating with weapons. These people that are fighting Gadhafi's army are truck drivers and shopkeepers and people from the town,” Kilcullen said. “And then there's another faction which is in essence the Eastern component of Gadhafi's old army. So I think it's a pretty complicated issue. I would be somewhat reluctant to engage in that.”
Kilcullen is the author of The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One.
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