Can Gadhafi Outlast NATO?

Pressure ramping up to end conflict
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2011 8:58 AM CDT
Demonstrators against North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) involvement in Libya stand outside Buckingham Palace in London, during Barack Obama's visit, May 24, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Fifteen weeks into its Libyan campaign, NATO is getting restless. The eight nations involved in the campaign can’t get the other 20 off the bench, and many seem to disagree on strategy. Norway, whose tiny air force has carried out a disproportionate 10% of the airstrikes, has set an end date for its involvement, while the Dutch defense minister last week complained of “mission creep,” and the Italian foreign minister called for a ceasefire, the LA Times reports.

The US, meanwhile, refuses to take part in combat missions, and faces pressure from Congress to end its involvement entirely. “All the countries are watching an economic and political time clock,” said one think tank member. “The question is: Whose coalition will break first, Gadhafi’s or NATO?” Western officials worry that these signs of weakness are encouraging Gadhafi, with one retired general warning that a ceasefire deal would let him “behave like an intransigent Bosnian warlord,” and maneuver for a return to power.

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