NATO to Lead on Libya Ties, Panetta Says

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, October 25, 2011

From Elisabeth Bumiller and Martin Fackler, the New York Times:   Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta declined on Tuesday to say whether the United States would have a future military relationship with Libya and instead said he would take cues from allies in Europe.

“What I would do at this point is leave the decision as to a future security involvement in the hands of NATO,” Mr. Panetta said. “And then, beyond that, that will give us a basis on which to determine whether there’s an additional role that we can play. . . .”

Mr. Panetta also said it was imperative to find and secure Libya’s conventional weapons arsenal, which was ransacked during the fall of Colonel Qaddafi’s government. American officials are concerned that the weapons could be sold through black markets to other countries and could arm terrorist groups.  (photo: Reuters)

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