Libya strike
Smoke rises after coalition air strikes in Tripoli June 7, 2011. REUTERS

Last month, when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization declared it would extend the campaign for 90 days, it became clear that an important part of NATO's strategy is based on the hope that Colonel Gaddafi will see the error of his ways and capitulate before his surroundings and his supporters are worn down by the bombings and turn against him.

The strikes however seem to have had quite the opposite effect and it now becomes difficult to understand why the Alliance persists with its bombing campaign when clearly, it has pushed the people from Tripoli closer the Libyan leader and further away from the Alliance.

In early May, while various countries were already calling for a political solution to the conflict, General Sir David Richards, the head of the Armed Forces, insisted "we need to increase the pressure further through more intense military action. We now need to tighten the vise to demonstrate to Qaddafi that the game is up...If we do not up the ante now there is a risk that the conflict could result in Qaddafi clinging to power."

However, nearly two months later and the increasing bombardments have not managed to balance the situation in favour of the rebel fighters. People in the capital are fed up with the repeated bombardments, which they find highly intruding and the capital now looks like a battle field, while civilians are scared to be target by mistake and hit.

Also as the African Union, the Arab League and even Italy have called for the immediate cessation of the bombings; the Alliance is becoming more and more alienated. Its strategy will certainly not play in its favour in the future as African and Arab leaders are increasingly growing wary and resentful towards the organisation.

It is however not the first time that nato uses air strike to put a conflict to halt as its strategy was similar in 1999 with the bombing of Serbia and the breakaway province of Kosovo.

While the Alliance tried to pretend that the 78-day bombing campaign persuaded Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his forces from Kosovo, the facts prove otherwise.

NATO began bombing Serbia on March 24, 1999, without a Security Council resolution, citing a "humanitarian emergency" and at the time insisted it would take only a few days of bombing to persuade Mr. Milosevic to withdraw his forces from Kosovo.

However as the weeks dragged on bombing raids did not stop at destroying to the Serbian military's personnel and equipment, as fixed infrastructure: bridges, roads, factories, refineries and TV stations were also targeted, while civilians also died in the process.

As it became clearer that Milosevic was not going to give in, diplomacy was given a long overdue chance and the then leader only accepted to withdrew after negotiating with a Russian envoy led by Vitaly Churkin.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military alliance of countries from Europe and North America promising collective defence. While it currently comprises 26 nations, NATO was formed initially to counter the communist East. However since the end of the cold war, the Alliance has searched for a new identity in a different post-Cold War world. It seems however that the it is still struggling to adjust to the realities of the new international scene and its agenda as it has not yet moved away from its strategy to trying to end conflicts by imposing its military force. In the case of Libya however, the decision remains particularly controversial , as the majority of the population seems to side neither with Gaddafi nor the rebels. While pictures and footages of massive protests against the regime took place for several weeks and even months in Tunisia, Egypt or Syria, the same cannot be said of Libya. In fact they faded as soon as the NATO-led operation stated which in itself is quite surprising. While demonstrations from both camps are still organised, no images of massive protests have recently emerged.

After four months of conflict Gaddafi still insists he will not leave or surrender and the rebels are suffering severe food, money, medicine and material shortages, while the mission is starting to costs much more than originally planned. The country now risks to be divided between the Rebels and the Gaddafi forces for a long time.

Russia and China have also voice their opposition the continuing aerial raids and as the rest of the International community followed suit, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato chief, vowed this week that there would be no halt to the Libyan bombing campaign, by insisting that more civilians would die if operations were not maintained under a UN mandate to protect Libyans from the exactions of Gaddafi's regime.

In the past months weeks though, the Gaddafi forces have mainly focused on fighting off the rebels, not the civilians. On the other hand, as the rebels have also insisted they want the leader to step down, it becomes clearer they are decided to take his position, which puts into question their claim they want a fully fledge democracy. Recently, in the hope to work out a more diplomatic, a UN envoy to Libya had requested that the rebels call for a ceasefire, but the latter staunchly refused to do so until Col. Gadhafi is gone. In that sense, it seems that while the UN was ready to cooperate, the rebels and passed the 1973 resolution, the latter are far less flexible. As it stands then, the conflict has no end in sight and by the time a solution is found, it will be interesting to see what is left of Tripoli.