“We’ve also authorized military authorities for NATO to take on the broader military protection mission.” – Sec. Clinton
Before Clinton spoke, the news coming through multiple news sources is NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the alliance has reached an agreement to take over no-fly operations from the U.S., also known as “the coalition.”
Rasmussen said on CNN there is no decision on “a broader mission,” which remains under U.S. military command. This includes attacks on the ground, Gadhafi’s tanks, etc. This is the tougher part of the “mission,” such as it is.
“At this moment there will still be a coalition operation and a NATO operation,” Fogh Rasmussen said. “But we are considering whether NATO should take on that broader responsibility in accordance with the U.N. Security Council resolution, but that decision has not been made yet.” – MSNBC
Turkey is very much against NATO being in charge of this aspect of the “mission.” However, Turkish air bases will be open for the no-fly part of the mission, which is no small thing.
CNN is also reporting a “no-fly plus” being considered, with permission needed to expand Libyan mission to hit other targets, but the correspondent transmission was interrupted.
This is getting very convoluted, with two different four-star generals in charge, according to one military expert on CNN, “unity of command” is out the window.
Steve Clemons said on MSNBC that the U.S. will be acting “behind the scenes” delivering “unique capabilities,” aka intelligence and as sort of a “kind of Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, if you will, without a lot of public exposure,” but a “systems integration role,” which will continue after the hand-off.
We still don’t know the ultimate goal of what we’re doing in Libya, but the U.S. military is still very much involved, as Sec. Clinton’s statement at the top of this report illustrates.
Much remains to be worked out.
Pres. Obama choosing to not address the nation, but instead give Sec. Clinton the lead, is an interesting way to address a situation that is getting more involved, rather than less.
This report has been updated.