US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder just gave an on-the-record State Department conference call readout of NATO meetings on Libya and what capacity NATO might have on hand for various contingencies there.
I tried but failed to get a question in, and the subject I would have raised was not covered in the call.
My question would have been what were Ambassador Daalder’s and other NATO members’ assessments of the ‘neighborhood view’ on the imposition of a no fly zone in Libya. In other words, what do the African Union and Arab League think? And does NATO care?
Daalder was quite forthcoming in laying out military capacity, airlift capacity, and surveillance capacity that was on the roster of those things being assessed and considered by NATO. He said that the assessment would likely be done by the end of this week.
Without saying that a UN Security Council Resolution was required for NATO to act, Daalder said that every NATO member strongly preferred that there be such a Resolution in place before NATO took action.
We didn’t have time to get into China and its recalcitrance in supporting a resolution authorizing force against another regime that is internally at war with itself. But China is clearly an impediment — and so are the deeply embedded allergies and anger at past Western intervention in this region.
— Steve Clemons