NATO Chief Sounds Upbeat Note on Libya

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmunsen, July 6, 2011

From Stephen Fidler, the Wall Street Journal:  The civilian head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization gave an upbeat assessment of the progress of opposition forces in Libya , saying in an interview he expected rebel units in the west and east of the country to join together.

Speaking at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said opposition forces had advanced in recent weeks. "I think that progress will continue because the opposition forces are now more experienced, better trained, better coordinated. So, I think we’ll see east and west join forces and move forward," he said. . . .

The NATO secretary-general said the alliance would prolong its campaign for as long as necessary, and disagreed with suggestions that Col. Gadhafi would be heartened by the withdrawal from operations of some NATO allies. Norway is withdrawing its aircraft from strike operations at the end of this month and Italy has decided to withdraw an aircraft carrier from operations.

The former Danish prime minister said such "restructurings" of force deployments were inevitable and would have no effect on the strength or effectiveness of the NATO operation. He also noted Britain recently committed four more Tornado aircraft to the mission to improve the reconnaissance and surveillance of potential targets.  (photo: Getty)

Image: getty%207%2020%2011%20Anders%20Fogh%20Rasmussen.jpg