- DOJ reaches largest-ever federal government settlement over auto loan discrimination
- U.S. Navy to start giving gay couples marriage benefits in Japan
- Sen. Harry Reid goes to hospital as a precaution
- Fla.’s Trey Radel exits rehab, ‘excited’ to resume congressional role
- U.S. nuclear general boozed it up, chased ‘hot women’ in Russia: report
- 45 Calif. students at one school test positive for tuberculosis exposure
- Rob Ford on women: Give them cash ‘and they are happy’
- Ku Klux Klan group holds recruitment meeting in Maryland
- Airport assassination: Mayor, 3 others killed at Manila airport
- Tea party-type lawmakers take mysterious, off-books trip to Mideast
NATO’s role uncertain after assisting Libyan rebellion
Question of the Day
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.
With the rebels’ hold on Tripoli uncertain and Col. Gadhafi’s whereabouts unknown, some analysts said “Operation Unified Protector,” as the NATO offensive is dubbed, risks sucking the alliance into a quagmire.
“I’m very worried,” said Mr. Danin. “Here is a country in which the grand leader … deliberately gutted all the institutions of government … it’s a tribalized society, it’s a factionalized society. They’ve been united by what they oppose.”
“This is a Libyan revolution, where it goes is up to the Libyan people,” he said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
By John McAfee
- Breaking Fad: Alligators becoming the new pit bulls for drug dealers, cops say
- D.C. to tout Obamacare among youth waiting for Air Jordans
- Huge backlash mounts over suspension of 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson
- TARGET credit card theft swells to 40 million victims
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- Obama: 2014 will be 'breakthrough year' for U.S.
- Dems use new filibuster rules to approve DHS nominee Alejandro Mayorkas under investigation
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow