While French and British officials made much early in the day of wanting to escalate the war in Libya, it seems their viewpoint is not universal across NATO. Officials with the alliance say the escalation is unlikely to happen in the near term.
“NATO is conducting its military operations in Libya with vigor within the current mandate,” they insisted. NATO has only been under control of the war for eight days, and officials say they are unlikely to move beyond the UN mandate so quickly.
The split may well be a result of French and British officials going to bat for the war early on, and now facing an open-ended conflict with no real long term goals. There seems to be a belief that escalation can impose a favorable solution on the nation.
And indeed, European Union officials have also suggested they might jump into the war as well if the UN gives them a mandate. This is probably unlikely, as the war already faces considerable international opposition, but shows that there remains some willingness to escalate further. It is just that, outside of France and Britain, that escalation requires a UN imprimatur.