Should you have any confusion about NATO's aims, you won't after reading this: The top US admiral involved in the mission has admitted that NATO is actively trying to kill Moammar Gadhafi. The revelation comes from Rep. Mike Turner, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, who told The Cable that US Admiral Samuel Locklear told him so last month. Foreign Policy notes that such a move isn't authorized by the UN mandate authorizing the war.
"The UN authorization had three components: blockade, no fly zone, and civil protection," says Turner. "And Admiral Locklear explained that the scope of civil protection was being interpreted to permit the removal of the chain of command of Gadhafi's military, which includes Gadhafi. He said that currently is the mission as NATO has defined." Turner says Locklear told him that regime change is not part of the mission, but had no answer to Turner's statement that removing Gadhafi would obviously lead to ... regime change. Turner says Locklear also said that ground troops would be needed for a brief period once Gadhafi is removed. (Read more Samuel Locklear stories.)