Editor's note: Angel M. Rabasa, a member of the Bosnia Train and Equip Task Force in the early 1990s, is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corp., a nonprofit institution whose mission is to help improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis.
By Angel M. Rabasa, Special to CNN
The Gadhafi regime retains overwhelming military superiority over the Benghazi-based Interim National Council. Unless the military imbalance is redressed, Gadhafi will retain the ability to threaten or renew his attacks on his opposition. As long as this situation persists, international military involvement in Libya - to enforce the no-fly zone and prevent ground attacks by Gadhafi's forces - will likely have to continue.
What the United States did in Bosnia might hold the key for an effective response to the crisis in Libya. In Bosnia, the United States sought to redress the military balance, which since the onset of the war in 1992 had heavily favored the Bosnian Serb army.
To restore balance and create conditions for lasting peace in Bosnia, it was necessary to establish a capable Bosnian Federation army. A "train and equip" program was implemented by a small interagency group based in the State Department.
Despite the Europeans' skepticism and dislike for the program, it succeeded. The program raised donations of several hundred million dollars from Muslim countries, supervised the purchase of military equipment for the armed forces of the Federation and arranged for a U.S. contractor to train Federation troops. The program also helped promote other U.S. objectives in Bosnia by diminishing Iranian influence and ensuring the departure of the foreign fighters.
Read more here.