NATO officials are once again signaling their willingness to allow Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi to remain in the country, backing away from demands earlier in the war that his departure be a condition for ending the conflict.
The flexibility is not sitting well with ICC officials, who were hoping to have Gadhafi in the dock at the Hague at some point, and they are openly rejecting the notion that Gadhafi might simply remain in the country after an end to the NATO war.
Four months into the war this change in attitude is not so much a rethink by NATO, but a sign of the growing desperation among officials to break the long-standing stalemate, particularly among US officials.
And indeed, while officials are claiming progress and are defiant, insisting Gadhafi cannot simply “wait them out,” the reality is that the net result of the months of war is actually a small territorial loss for the rebels, and while the humanitarian situation in Tripoli is getting worse, it does not appear that victory is forthcoming for any side. With NATO already making concessions, it seems that the waiting game is paying dividends for the regime, even if they are coming at the expense of the civilian public.