Gates Cautions Against Ending U.S. Support in Libya

SINGAPORE, June 3, 2011 — If the Unit­ed States uni­lat­er­al­ly end­ed sup­port to the NATO mis­sion in Libya, it would have enor­mous and dan­ger­ous long-term con­se­quences, Pen­ta­gon offi­cials said here today.

Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates is con­cerned over the prospect of Con­gress vot­ing against con­tin­ued U.S. sup­port to the NATO mis­sion in Libya, said Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary Geoff Mor­rell, who is here with Gates at the Shangri-La Dia­logue secu­ri­ty summit. 

That would send “an unhelp­ful mes­sage of dis­uni­ty and uncer­tain­ty to our troops, our allies and, most impor­tant­ly, the Gad­hafi regime,” Mor­rell said, adding that the sec­re­tary is par­tic­u­lar­ly con­cerned about the impact such a move could have on U.S. rela­tions with NATO allies. 

“As a key NATO part­ner, they have asked us to pro­vide sup­port, just like we have asked them over the years to sup­port dif­fi­cult oper­a­tions in Afghanistan,” he said. 

Mor­rell said the sec­re­tary under­stands the con­cerns that some in Con­gress have expressed, and that he wel­comes the legit­i­mate pol­i­cy debate. Still, he wants the debate to pro­ceed in ways that do not under­mine the NATO allies and mil­i­tary oper­a­tions, Mor­rell added. 

The oper­a­tion began in March with U.S., British and French naval and air forces launch­ing attacks to pre­vent those loy­al to Libyan dic­ta­tor Moam­mar Gad­hafi from con­tin­u­ing attacks on inno­cent civil­ians and rebel forces in Libya. NATO took over com­mand of the effort at the end of March, and U.S. forces now play a sup­port role in the effort. 

The U.S. mil­i­tary pro­vides sup­port to NATO forces, includ­ing air-to-air refu­el­ing; intel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and recon­nais­sance assets; and unmanned aer­i­al vehi­cles. Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma said when he ordered Amer­i­can forces to sup­port the mis­sion that there would be no U.S. boots on the ground, and that is still the case. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →