NATO: War Until Gadhafi Leaves, but He’s ‘Not a Target’

NATO Still Insists Gadhafi Not a 'Target' of War

Top officials seem to be setting up a series of tests for the Libya War to ensure that the conflict will continue indefinitely. The latest pairing of conditions are a pledge that NATO “won’t force out” Gadhafi in the war, but that the war itself will continue as long as he remains.

The second part of this pledge comes from President Obama, British Prime Minister Cameron, and French President Sarkozy, who have all agreed to continue the war however long it takes for Gadhafi to leave.

This is the closest the alliance has come to defining an end-game condition since the war began last month, but officials still insist the UN mandate doesn’t include regime change. This means the end result isn’t even a hypothetical consequence of the war, but at best coincidental.

It is also an extreme long shot. Officials say the rebels, even after about a month of NATO-backed fighting, are still completely disorganized, and in no position to conquer the country, no matter how many arms European nations slip into the nation. A stalemate is still a likely result in this civil war, but NATO itself seems prepared to shrug off a settlement on the ground to keep their own war going pretty much forever.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.