From the Editors of the New York Times: After more than two weeks under attack by NATO forces, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi is still slaughtering his people and showing no sign that he plans to give up. NATO and coalition partners are pointing fingers of blame at each other for this frustrating state of affairs, but what they should be doing is creating a renewed sense of common purpose and direction. …
The American A-10 antitank aircraft and AC-130 ground attack gunship used earlier in the Libya fighting are uniquely suited to make precision strikes on ground targets without unduly endangering civilians. Mr. Obama should authorize them to fly again under NATO command.
With the United States bogged down in two other wars, President Obama was right to step back quickly and let the Europeans take the lead. Other countries — including Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands — should do more to help. So far only six of the alliance’s 28 members are striking targets. NATO also needs to work harder with rebel forces on choosing ground targets.
Libya is a test of whether NATO can succeed at a mission in which the United States plays a support rather than a lead role. Results are decidedly mixed. A quick and peaceful outcome is in Europe’s direct interest, especially Italy’s. It faces an influx of refugees. Britain and France need to firmly make that case to their European partners. (photo: Reuters)