BY SAMUEL JOSEPH
ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY
Despite initial misgivings and diplomatic squabbles, NATO has agreed to assume responsibility for policing Libyan no-fly-zone, taking command from the United States.
CNN spoke with NATO Secretary-General Anders Rasmussen, who outlines exactly what the security alliance hopes to accomplish.
ANDERS RASMUSSEN: “We are taking action as part of the broad international effort to protect the civilians against the attacks by the Gaddafi regime. We will co-operate closely with our partners in the region, and we welcome their contributions. All NATO allies are committed to fulfil their commitment under the UN resolution, and that’s why we have decided to assume responsibility for the no-fly-zone.”
The United States has been pushing for the takeover, with the Obama administration repeating its stance that the no-fly zone should be an international operation. BBC quotes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a news conference, where she said the key aspect of this arrangement is the involvement of Arab countries.
HILLARY CLINTON: “This coalition includes countries beyond NATO, including Arab partners. And we expect all of them to be providing important political guidance going forward. We have always said that Arab leadership and participation is crucial.”
However, according to Christian Broadcasting Network, the U.S. might still have a hard time backing away from this fight.
“...the U.S., France and Britain will still share keeping up the offensive against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's ground forces and air defense systems, which will make it difficult for the American military to transfer control of the mission.”
Finally, a writer for The Australian points out that the Libyan commitment is stretching the U.S. military dangerously thin, and reducing its ability to intervene whenever security threats arise.
“The world needs the US to be in a position to threaten any necessary security action at any time. The more powerful the US is, and the more this power is recognised, the less it will ever have to use such power. But the US cannot sustain domestic support endlessly for prolonged commitments... And when it is doing this it cannot take on new commitments.”
With U.S. military forces still in Iraq and Afganistan, analysts expressed concern that, under NATO’s normal command structure, an American would be put in charge of the Libyan operation. However, NATO picked a Canadian to take command -- Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard.
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Transcript by Newsy.