Discover the World News Forecast . . . FIRST in Foresight Journalism

LIBYA 31 Dec 2011 NATO aerial mission extended until end of year

NATO authorized a 90-day extension of the alliance’s aerial mission over Libya on Sep 21, acknowledgement that the rebels’ battle for

December 31, 2011 - NULL

LIBYA 31 Dec 2011 NATO aerial mission extended until end of year

NATO authorized a 90-day extension of the alliance's aerial mission over Libya on Sep 21, acknowledgement that the rebels' battle for control of the country is not won. It might not be the last extension. NATO was due to be out by June, then had to extend to September, and now to the end of 2011. And post-Kaddafy Libya brings other Alliance headaches. In the announcement about the extension, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen anticipated disarmament difficulties.

Rasmussen said NATO forces could be called home

LIBYA 31 Dec 2011 NATO aerial mission extended until end of year

NATO authorized a 90-day extension of the alliance's aerial mission over Libya on Sep 21, acknowledgement that the rebels' battle for control of the country is not won. It might not be the last extension. NATO was due to be out by June, then had to extend to September, and now to the end of 2011. And post-Kaddafy Libya brings other Alliance headaches. In the announcement about the extension, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen anticipated disarmament difficulties.

Rasmussen said NATO forces could be called home 'at any time' if the National Transitional Council (NTC) determines that NATO help is no longer necessary, but he sounded a pessimistic note when his announcement moved to post-Kaddafy Libya. Disarmament "is clearly an issue," he said, "and the fractured security structure of the different brigades of the National Transitional Council offers plenty of opportunities for the progress to be reversed. Restoring the police service is top of the agenda for Tripoli's hastily assembled council."

A Los Angeles Times article on Sep 13 points to another looming post-Kaddafy problem: the struggle between secular politicians and Islamists seeking to define the character of the new Libya. Among elements vying for control, according to the newspaper, are militiamen, the long-repressed Islamists, returned exiles and former Kaddafy supporters. The article sees a major problem reconciling the competing factions in a country with no history of democratic rule -- and with its longtime strongman still on the loose

Some Western and other governments, the United Nations and the African Union are not waiting for the "all clear." They have formally recognized the NTC as Libya's legitimate government. South Africa's and AU recognition of the NTC represents major blows to Kaddafy. South Africa was a former Kaddafy ally and critic of the NATO mission, and Kaddafy was a leading founder of the AU, which is modeled on the European Union. The United States is expected to be one of first to reestablish an ambassador in Libya. (Written Sep 2011)

RELATED READING:

NATO Secretary General statement on NAC decision to extend Libya mission (NATO 21 Sep 2011)
http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_78355.htm?mode=pressrelease

Islamists take aim at Libya rebels' secular leaders (LA Times 13 Sep 2011)
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/13/world/la-fg-libya-factions-20110914

Date written/update: 2011-12-31