"I don't want to go into operation details,
but I can assure you that our military commanders are very careful in
identifying legitimate military targets," he added.
Nations's resolution establishing the no-fly zone over Libya was a
defensive statement, he said, authorizing the use of international force
to stop the slaughter of a citizenry that was under attack by its own
But publicly, world leaders, including President
Barack Obama, have called for the end of Qaddafi's reign, though Western
leaders say they won't move toward that end with a military escalation.
This has led many observers to worry that, with air power
insufficient to remove Qaddafi and the Libyan leader apparently
unwilling to go of his own accord, there's no endgame in sight.
got to be a conclusion, and if Qaddafi stays in power it stays a
stalemate and the UN mandate and NATO mandate doesn't get resolved,"
said Professor Robert Guttman, the Director of the Center on Politics
& Foreign Relations at the Johns Hopkins University School of
Advanced International Studies.
This puts world leaders in a
difficult place. The rebel fighters are still relatively unknown, yet
the international mission hinges on the success of their rag-tag
Though neither the U.S. nor the U.K. officially
recognize the revolutionaries as the legitimate Libyan government, both
nations are considering increasing assistance to the revolutionaries.
Thursday in London, after meeting with leaders of Libya's Transitional
National Council, British officials announced their government is
increasing equipment supplies to the rebels as they work to establish a
new Libyan government.
The White House says that later today,
U.S. officials, including senior administration staff and members of
Congress, will meet with the transitional council.
international diplomacy slowly winds its course, reports from across
Libya are that fighting is intensifying and supplies running short.
says he wants to assist Libya's rebels in establishing a democracy of
their own, but he acknowledges the international role is limited and
cannot be viewed as forcing change on Libya from the outside.
can, if they so request, we can assist them in the transition to
democracy. ... We can be helpful when it comes to reforms, democratic
reforms, of the military and the security sector," he said. "If they so
request we stand ready to help them."
Though the situation for Libya's rebels becomes more dire by the day, patience is essential, according to U.S. officials.
a lot happening, there's a big opposition. ... This takes time," said
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, as he walked to his Capitol Hill office. "I think Qaddafi
does not have a great hand to play here."