Mullen: Libya No-Fly Zone Is Up
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs stresses limited nature of mission
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2011 8:24 AM CDT
Updated Mar 20, 2011 10:48 AM CDT
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon March 1, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The US airstrikes launched yesterday against Libya are already having a "significant effect" on Moammar Gadhafi's military, Adm. Mike Mullen said in an interview today. Gadhafi has been unable to "fly the last couple of days," he said, “So I’d say the no-fly zone which we were tasked to put in place is actually in place.” The chairman of the Joint Chiefs emphasized the limited nature of the intervention, reports Politico, and denied that the goal was to oust Gadhafi: “The mission is very clear right now.”

“We are very focused on the limited objectives the president has given us—and actually the international coalition has given us—in terms of providing the no-fly zone so that he cannot attack his own people…to avoid any kind of humanitarian massacre, if you will." Mullen conceded in another interview that Gadhafi could potentially retain power: "How this ends from the political standpoint, I just can't say."