NATO Prepares for ‘Long War’ in Libya

Analysts See No End in Sight for Air Campaign

by Jason Ditz, April 15, 2011

With officials increasingly up front with the fact that the Libyan War is a stalemate, NATO is not looking to extricate itself from the conflict. Rather, analysts say, NATO seems to be gearing up for an open-ended conflict.

With some of the alliance’s top members saying that simultaneously Gadhafi isn’t a target but that the war will continue “until he leaves,” they have defined what seems to be an unending conflict. Which analysts say is the point.

“These three countries (US, France and Britain) don’t want dialogue yet. They are trying to play for time to encourage an internal collapse in Tripoli,” one analyst noted. Indeed, that does seem to be the hope, but officials also admit there’s no sign the collapse is imminent.

The African Union tried earlier in the week to negotiate a ceasefire between Gadhafi and the rebels, which the regime appeared willing to accept. The rebels rejected it, however, and French officials then cited the lack of ceasefire as proof the war needed to continue, to “save” the rebels.

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