News / Africa

NATO Commander Says Libya May Need Foreign Stabilization Force

Adm. James Stavridis, NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 29, 2011, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the US mission in Libya
Adm. James Stavridis, NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 29, 2011, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the US mission in Libya

The top NATO military commander says Libya may need a foreign stabilization force if rebels supported by international airstrikes succeed in ousting the country's leader, Moammar Gadhafi. U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis made the comment in an appearance Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Admiral Stavridis says there has been no discussion at NATO of sending ground forces to stabilize Libya, but he believes it may be necessary.

"When you look at the history of NATO, having gone through this, as many on this committee have, with Bosnia and Kosovo, it's quite clear that the possibility of [the need for] a stabilization regime exists," he said.  "And so, I have not heard any discussion about it yet, but I think that history is in everybody's mind as we look at the events in Libya."

Admiral Stavridis cited the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995, which NATO leaders failed to prevent, as one reason they decided to act to stop Gadhafi's forces from taking the rebel headquarters city of Benghazi. President Barack Obama has said he will not send U.S. ground troops into Libya, and Admiral Stavridis said he is not aware of any NATO forces being deployed there so far.

The admiral came under repeated questioning by committee members about what some see as an inconsistency in the allied approach to Libya, which calls for an end to Gadhafi's rule but a military mission that does not specifically include that as a goal. 

Stavridis said he believes the two approaches will come together over time, but that any regime change will be initiated by the Libyan people, or by Gadhafi himself.

"By our participation in protecting the people of Libya, we create a safe and secure environment in which the people of Libya can make a determination, and that they then have the ability to undertake the kind of effort that would, in effect, create regime change, as we've seen in other nations in the Middle East," he said.

Admiral Stavridis said the military mission involves enforcement of the U.N.-mandated arms embargo and no-fly zone, the provision of humanitarian assistance and the protection of Libyan civilians from pro-Gadhafi forces. He predicted that the military operation, plus international diplomatic and financial pressure and attacks by the rebels, will likely result in Gadhafi's departure or overthrow.  

And he said even without the specific mission to oust Gadhafi, NATO forces are operating under sufficiently broad rules that they can attack wherever necessary in Libya.

"I think that any Gadhafi forces that are demonstrating hostile intent against the Libyan population are legitimate targets," said Stavridis.

Admiral Stavridis acknowledged that the international community still does not know much about the Libyans who are leading the rebellion. He said although there have been what he called "flickers" in intelligence reports indicating some of the rebel leaders have ties to al-Qaida, Hezbollah and other extremist groups, he does not believe there is a significant connection and that the leaders "are responsible men and women."

The admiral's' NATO forces have taken command of the arms embargo and no-fly zone enforcement from U.S. Africa Command, and he says NATO will take command of the humanitarian and protection of civilians effort within the next day or two. He praised the rapid creation of the international coalition that is involved in the operations, but he said he would like to see more involvement from Arab countries, beyond the aircraft and crews provided by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid