NATO Calls For More War Planes For Operation In Libya

Apr 14, 2011

NATO's Secretary General said the alliance needs more jets to target more of Moammar Gadhafi's ground forces in Libya.

Bloomberg reports:

"We need a few more precision-fighter ground-attack aircraft for air-to-ground missions," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said today at a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's 28 foreign ministers and leaders from other allied nations in Berlin.

The call for more warplanes, which Rasmussen said wasn't directed at a specific alliance member, comes 10 days after the U.S. largely withdrew its ground-attack planes operating over Libya. U.S. and French officials said that their governments don't plan to offer additional warplanes and that it is up to other allies to help.

The AFP reports that the alliance said it would keep attacking government forces as long as it takes to topple Gadhafi, but Rasmussen said none of the 28 nations offered up "specific pledges" though "I've heard indications that give me hope."

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said the United States will continue to support the mission as long as it takes. Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen said it was time for nations that had not contributed to help.

Spain said it would not do more than abide by the arms embargo.

The NATO foreign ministers did find common ground when they called on Gadhafi to step down:

"On Libya we have to be honest ... We have the same objective, and this objective is to allow the Libyan people to enjoy democratic freedoms," French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told reporters.

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