SecDef Gates Says “Primary Responsiblily” For Libya To Be Turned Over “In A Matter Of Days”
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Muammar Qaddafi is not the primary target in Libya, that our goals are limited by the UN resolution, and that our plan is to turn over “primary responsibility” in leading the action “in a matter of days.”
The coalition with the U.K., France and Arab countries relies on the terms laid out in the UN Security Council resolution adopted last week, Gates told reporters traveling with him to Russia today on a trip he delayed yesterday so he could monitor the start of “Operation Odyssey Dawn.” The resolution backed military action to prevent Qaddafi from using his forces to attack fellow Libyans.
“If we start adding additional objectives, then I think we create a problem in that respect,” Gates said. “I also think that it is unwise to set as specific goals things that you may or may not be able to achieve.”
“We will have a military role in the coalition, but we will not have the preeminent role,” Gates says.
Whether the U.S. and its partners in the coalition should aid the Libyan rebels directly “remains to be seen,” Gates said. “This is basically going to have to be resolved by the Libyans themselves,” he said, citing the U.S.’s political approach to revolts in Egypt, Tunisia and other nations in the region.
The U.S. expects to turn over the “primary responsibility” for the operation to others “in a matter of days,” Gates said.Click here for reuse options!
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