All Articles Tagged "military operations"
(Wall Street Journal) — As early as this weekend, the U.S. is expected to start handing control of military operations in Libya to alliance partners. But even if that transfer goes smoothly, many key military tasks will remain in U.S. military hands for the foreseeable future. In the short-term, the most important part of the mission-protecting civilians from attack by the forces of Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi—remains squarely on the shoulders of U.S. forces. In a Pentagon briefing Friday, Vice Adm. William Gortney, the director of the U.S. Joint Staff, said the mission of protecting civilians “will remain in U.S. hands until such time as the coalition is ready to assume it,” meaning that U.S. aircraft would continue to fly bombing missions against Col. Gadhafi’s ground forces indefinitely. What’s more, military officials say U.S. forces are likely to remain involved in efforts to police the no-fly zone, providing the logistics backbone, surveillance tools and other specialized assets for the ongoing air campaign. And a larger question of the military’s potential support for a humanitarian relief operation-which could require the presence of U.S. troops on Libyan soil remains unanswered.