Despite growing doubts about the effectiveness of the conflict and international efforts to broker a ceasefire, NATO announced today that it is extending the war in Libya for an additional 90 days.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the move was important because it “sends a clear message to the Gadhafi regime: we are determined to continue our operation.” Officials justified the move as retaliation after South African President Jacob Zuma failed to negotiate Gadhafi’s departure from the country.
The announcement will also send a message to the rebels, however, that NATO intends to continue its ill-conceived war indefinitely. This may make efforts to negotiate a ceasefire in the conflict, which has been essentially stalemated since April, all but impossible.
It was also usher in a growing humanitarian disaster in western Libya, where the United Nations is reporting that food and medicine are in short supply. With NATO promising to continue bombing this half of the country for another 90 days, it seems that this will only get worse going forward.
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