Brits Feud Over Killing Gadhafi
Army chief at odds with government over targeting leader
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2011 3:43 AM CDT
Britain's Defense Secretary Liam Fox, center, with British Chief of Defense Staff General Sir David Richards, left, arrive at Downing Street for a meeting on Libya.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

(Newser) – The head of Britain's armed forces is embroiled in a public dispute with government ministers over the legality of killing Moammar Gadhafi. Gen. David Richards, apparently wary of "mission creep," has rejected ministers' suggestions that Gadhafi is a legitimate target for assassination, reports the Daily Mail. Targeting Gadhafi "is not allowed under the UN resolution and is not something I want to discuss any further," the general told reporters.

Government officials, however, including Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defense Secretary Liam Fox, have described the Libyan leader as a legitimate target and have refused to rule out attempting to kill him with bunker-buster bombs if doing so would protect civilians. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates described the calls for Gadhafi's killing as "unwise," warning that targeting the leader could undermine the international coalition enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya.