Speaking to reporters after the Brussels meeting of NATO Defense Ministers, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that there was broad consensus about the continuation of the war in Libya.
At the same time, Panetta insisted there was “no clear set of conditions” for how to actually end the conflict or when they thought it might happen, except that NATO would remain as long as “serious fighting” continued.
This could be an extremely long time, as the war against the remnants of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime seems to be taking a lot longer than expected, and at the same time rebel fractions seem to be lining up against one another for a new civil war.
NATO continues to reassure that the war doesn’t hinge on Gadhafi being captured, which is probably a good thing because there is no indication that they have a clue where he is. At the same time, the lack of specific metrics for ending the conflict suggests officials are setting the table for another long conflict.
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