The conquest and occupation of Libyan is first and foremost a military victory for NATO. Every aspect of the military offensive was spearheaded and directed by NATO air, sea and ground forces. The NATO invasion of Libya was basically a response to the "Arab spring" : the popular uprisings which spread from North Africa to the Persian Gulf. The NATO assault formed part of a general counter-attack designed to contain and reverse the popular democratic and anti-imperialist movements which had ousted or were on the verge of overthrowing US-client dictators.
Political and military considerations were foremost in motivating the NATO invasion: As late as May 2009, the U.S. and European regimes were developing close bilateral military, economic and security agreements with the Gaddafi regime. According the British daily, the Independent (9/4/2011), official Libyan documents found in its Foreign Office described how on December 16, 2003, the US CIA and British MI6 established close collaboration with the Gaddafi government. The MI6 provided Gaddafi with details on Libyan opposition leaders exiled in England and even drafted a speech for him as he sought rapprochement with the outside world.