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March 27, 2011

NATO: Fine, We'll Take This Libya Thing

Well, this is certainly a red letter day in our kinetic military action time-limited, scope-limited military action WAR in Libya. Now NATO will be in charge of not just the No Fly Zone but also the ground strikes to protect civilians.

Reuters news agency quoted one Nato official as saying: "Nato has decided today to implement all aspects of the UN resolution 1973 to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack from the Gaddafi regime."

Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the takeover by Nato was "immediate".

However one diplomat, quoted by Associated Press, said the logistics of the transfer from US leadership could take several days.

Our correspondent says precise operational details have not been revealed by Nato but there will be a high-level committee of representatives from all of the countries taking part, in order to give broad political guidance to the campaign.

The Nato announcement came after a week of heated discussion among members, with Turkey and France in particular wary of a Nato leading role

How many more planes and ships does NATO have that aren't already involved? Right, none. So instead of the USA Africa Command running the show a Canadian general (or some such person) will be in charge. Of course that officer will be working under the military head of NATO who happens to American admiral.

All of this pretty much glosses over the fact that NATO is pretty much a US show anyway. Apparently the added value is, um, a committee to run the war on which Turkey (a country that doesn't want to get rid of Gadaffi or attack his military too hard) more or less gets a veto.

Welcome to the Obama administration definition of progress. Now that the US is out of the lead (at least technically) it will be safe for Obama to come out and talk tomorrow night about this war that we're not really in or actually in charge of.

Added: Below the fold a visual explanation of the Obama/NATO leadership switch.

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posted by DrewM. at 03:55 PM

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