- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
- Holiday cheer: Airline grants Christmas wishes for 250 unsuspecting passengers
- U.S. vet held in North Korea says statement was coerced
- NTSB hearing on San Francisco airliner crash postponed
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford insists he has dried out, vows sobriety test
- Greenpeace video warns that climate change is wrecking Santa’s home
- Herman Cain profiled in ‘Political Power’ comic book
NATO’s role uncertain after assisting Libyan rebellion
NATO succeeded in aiding the Libyan rebels in toppling Moammar Gadhafi despite early challenges in coordinating missions, and now the alliance and Libyans face an uncertain future, analysts and former officials say.
During the five-month campaign that began March 19, NATO forces have hailed more than 2,000 vessels, boarded more than 200 and turned away 10 as part of the alliance’s naval blockade of the Gadhafi regime.
NATO aircraft have flown more than 20,000 sorties - more than a third of them by aircraft tasked to strike Gadhafi forces.
And they have done so for the most part without the direct participation of U.S. combat aircraft, which withdrew after 11 days in accordance with President Obama’s determination that the United States would not lead the operation after the initial phase.
“The fact that the United States did not play its traditional role in this coalition of leading at the forefront and … withdrew its primary military assets early on forced other NATO members to play a greater role and indeed brought some strains into the alliance,” Mr. Danin said, referring to the protracted negotiations at the end of March between European allies about the leadership structure for the air campaign.
But U.S. forces comprising command and control, surveillance and logistics continued to be essential to the NATO operation even after the alliance finally took the lead on April 1, a defense official confirmed to The Washington Times.
On Monday, alliance officials pledged to continue their role, raising fears that if the security situation worsens, pressure might mount for NATO to deploy ground troops.
“NATO is ready to work with the Libyan people and with the Transitional National Council,” NATO Secretary-General Andreas Fogh Rasmussen said, referring to the rebels’ interim leadership based in Paris.
“We will continue to monitor military units and key facilities, as we have since March, and when we see any threatening moves towards the Libyan people, we will act in accordance with our U.N. mandate” to protect civilians, he added.
Officials from the European Union went further in pledging support for the rebels, promising to send in an assessment team.
“The sort of thing we could offer … is humanitarian assistance, support for democratization, help set up elections, institution-building and help with the economy,” Mr. Mann added.
In an email message, Mr. Mann said the EU freeze on Libyan assets will remain in force for the time being. “As soon as we judge that the time is right to help the population, we will change them,” he said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- PRUDEN: Waiting for Nelson Mandela without the tears
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Oregon fails to sign up single person on health care website as states struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Notes from a running nerd: musings and more on all things running.
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow