US: Gadhafi Wants to Skip Town

Bombings drive Libyan leader to pack his bags
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2011 7:40 AM CDT
Smoke billows from the site of an explosion across an area in which strongman Moamer Kadhafi has his residence, in Tripoli on June 7, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – NATO’s bombing campaign has Moammar Gadhafi “seriously considering” getting out of Dodge—or in this case Tripoli—according to new US intelligence reports. It seems Gadhafi doesn’t intend to leave the country altogether, but he “doesn’t feel safe anymore” in the capital, an official briefed on the intelligence tells the Wall Street Journal. “It is becoming increasingly difficult for him to operate inside Tripoli.”

That’s the good news. The bad news? International forces aren’t exactly prepared for what will happen if Gadhafi's exit brings down his regime, says Gen. Carter Ham, the top US commander in Africa. “We, the international community, could be in postconflict Libya tomorrow and there isn’t a plan, there is not a good plan,” Ham told the Journal. “If it ends in chaos … you will probably need a sizable force on the ground.” He stressed, however, that the US would not send ground forces to the conflict.

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