Awaiting a statement from SecState Clinton as I write this. It looks like they’re still working on the details. Like, what to call the mission’s chain of command steering committee?
NATO members have struck a deal in principle to take over command of military operations in Libya within days from the coalition led by Britain, France and the United States.
“NATO countries are in agreement to launch final planning, enabling it to take over the command from the coalition on Monday or Tuesday,” said the diplomat, who asked not to be named.
Another diplomatic source cautioned however that details remain to be worked out over a no-fly zone enforced by the coalition since Saturday, due to Ankara’s continued objections to strikes against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
Regardless of the sponsor logo on the team, US pilots will still probably end up doing most of the flying and bombing and US ships will still end up doing most of the cruising and interdicting.
Update: Watching Clinton’s statement. No real substance so far. Talking about “preventing a massacre in Benghazi,” which once again makes me think she’s undertaken this effort out of guilt for her husband’s total inaction on Rwanda.
She just invoked the “limited in time and scope” line. And says we’re seeing a “significant reduction in the number of US planes involved.”
NATO is taking over the no-fly zone (the the CO is an American – which is good but she didn’t mention it). Talks up Arab League support. Now UAE is sending planes to help enforce the no-fly, so there are two Arab states contributing actual planes (Qatar being the other).
Stuff about how the Gaddafi regime threatens its people and defies the United Nations…which can also be said about Syria, but isn’t.
And…out of there, no questions, thankyouverymuch.
By the way, via Africa Command, we’re still on the hook for attacking ground targets. So…Gaddafi does in fact still have us to kick around. We’re still doing the heavy lifting, and as long as there’s heavy lifting to do, we’ll be the ones a-doing it.