When all you have is a hammer...
...Everything starts to look like nails...
As has been said previously Gaddafi is and has always been several circuit boards short of a ZX spectrum.. but just imagine how you would feel looking at the remains of a 15 month old child who's only fit for soylent colonel...
The article is about our military services - and it makes good points. The war in libya would be much better suited to ground attack aircraft such as the A10 thunderbolt.. which we dont have, but the americans do. The PANAVIA Tornado does have a good avionics suite, but its not the most reliable, and never has been, and the thing is not exactly young.
Second point, there is little point moving every single plane you have into one theater when you are in the unpleasant position of being operational in at least 3 theaters in all and there is a likelyhood that there is going to be a few more 'police operations' to deal with at the same time. 10-15 out of around 150 is 10% or so, which allows for attrition, accidents (witness F-15 going splat) and terminatory faults in one or more aircraft.
The UK (and to be fair, the US) doesnt have the money to field multiple types for each requirement - for example, in WWII the British fielded no less than 5 different fighters, the americans at least 7 if you include the carrier fighters - all of which had different strengths and weaknesses. Now, if we're lucky we have one of each of everything, so there is no balance - the weaknesses are the forces weaknesses.
But to my point - our airforces are set up to fight the cold war - with, if you are generous, the ability to do other things tacked on. A Rafale (which to be fair is a very capable fighter) or a Typhoon or even to an extent the Tornado are not designed to do ground attack - their design as interceptors makes them unsuitable against even a reasonable AAA defensive system (a fact already seen with the tornado). Its alot like sending JU-87 Stukas up on a fighter sweep against La-5 and Yak-9DD's - bad things will happen. Of course that is not a totally fair comparison, but it makes the point. Use a military aircraft for something that its not designed for... and there will be losses.
But all in all people are entirely missing the point - the reason why we are in this situation is for years the west has sniped at and badmouthed the people of the far/middle/near east - secure in the knowledge that its all secret - all the backstabbing and denigration of what are very proud peoples (and for good reason if you bothered to read your history) - thanks to wikileaks - has come home to roost, its no accident that this is all happening now.
There is a christian epithet "do unto others as you would do unto yourselves" and the US and UK government forwent it - safe in the knowledge that their insulting and abusing of foreign governments would remain secret (up until the point someone made the connection between pieces of paper and the fax machine in the corner).
What has happened as a result is very simple - out that way you are the great leader up and until someone else proves you to be an idiot, or guilty of attacking your own people, or guilty of buying loads of second grade military crap from the US.. at that point its replacement time, and this is what is happening.
If the west had been honest in their dealings with foreign countries - and not thought it a good laugh to be abusive to them in "secret" we might not be in this position in the first place.