Hagel and NATO Defense Ministers to Discuss Training Libyan Security Forces

Obama and Rasmussen "talked at length" about NATO helping train "Libyan security forces"

From David Alexander, Reuters:  NATO defense ministers concerned about the growing presence of al Qaeda-linked rebels in southern Libya will this week discuss the possibility of training Libyan security forces, U.S. defense officials said on Monday.

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan requested the assistance at a meeting last week with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who raised the issue with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington last Friday.

"That was something the president and the secretary general talked at length about, about the way the NATO alliance could perhaps take on a greater role in training for the Libyan security forces," said a senior U.S. official on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s plane en route to Brussels. . . .

U.S. defense officials said it made sense to consider using the expertise that NATO had gained during its involvement in training Afghan forces.

But they stressed that discussions were in the early stages, that it was unclear where any training would take place, and that NATO countries were not yet being asked to make commitments.  (photo: Department of Defense)

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