And when this fails to dislodge Gaddafi?
(NY Times) — NATO planners say the allies are stepping up attacks on palaces, headquarters, communications centers and other prominent institutions supporting the Libyan regime, a shift of targets that is intended to weaken Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s grip on power and frustrate his forces in the field.
Officials in Europe and in Washington said that the strikes are meant to reduce the regime’s ability to harm civilians by eliminating, link by link, the command, communications and supply chains required for sustaining military operations.
The broadening of the alliance’s targets comes at a time when the rebels and the regime in Libya have been consolidating their positions along more static front lines, raising concerns of a prolonged stalemate. Although it is too soon to assess the results of the shift, a NATO official said on Tuesday that the alliance is watching closely for early signs, like the recent reports of desertions from the Libyan army.
Strikes on significant bulwarks of Colonel Qaddafi’s power over recent days included bombing his residential compound in the heart of Tripoli — an array of bunkers that are also home to administrative offices and a military command post — as well as knocking state television briefly off the air.