In defending what is officially not official policy; the targeting of Colonel Gaddafi, Liam Fox said “All parts of command and control are always legitimate targets so long as they are attacking civilians” and “Those who are involved need to recognise we regard them as legitimate targets”
As the Times points out “Officially, the Nato air offensive attacks only physical structures rather than individuals, as an explicit assassination strategy could be ruled illegal under UN resolution 1973.”
Putting the above to one side, there are a number of problems with this non-official strategy. Colonel Gaddafi and his advisers know fully well the security risk, and I doubt you would find him within miles of a command and control centre, or any traceable means of communication, much better for him to be surrounded by as many civilians as possible.
Then we need to ask is he really still in charge - or is it his son and or tribal leaders who are really calling the shots?
I thought our country believed in the principle of innocent until proven guilty, and that a person had a right to a fair trial irrespective of how objectionable their crimes were. What started out as an humanitarian mission is quickly becoming in the eyes of many as imposition of rule by the West, especially if by killing Colonel Gaddafi all we do is turn him into a martyr and escalate the civil war that is occurring in Libya.
It's clear that Russia and Arab states object most strongly to any Nato or UN ground force in Libya.
It's clear that peace cannot be imposed by airpower alone, especially in a divided country made up of many opposing factions.
And rather than finding a peaceful solution to this conflict, by seeking out influential leaders within the ruling factions of Libya with a road map to peace, we seek vengeance and set out to kill their leader?
As Israel has found out, killing the leaders of a movement is never the answer as it only leads to anger and the radicalisation of others.