NATO has specific command to enforce no fly zone over Libya

US has asserted that NATO has specific command and control capabilities to enforce the no-fly-zone over Libya.

Updated: Mar 23, 2011, 11:06 AM IST

Washington: As differences emerged
among its coalition partners over the leadership role of NATO over the Libyan military operations, US has asserted that the
military alliance has specific command and control
capabilities to enforce the no-fly-zone over Libya.

Countries like Italy want NATO to lead the Libyan
operation; others led by France are against it as they argue
that a Arab nations would be reluctant to participate in a
NATO led mission.

Refraining from entering into such a controversy, the
White House however praised the NATO capabilities in enforcing
the UN Security Council resolution against Libya.

It appeared to be adopting a middle path on the

"There`s agreement that NATO has certain capabilities
that are very important in terms of facilitating command and
control. However there is a coalition, of course, that is
broader than NATO, so this is not simply a NATO operation,"
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said.

"I think the agreement is that there are specific
capabilities within NATO that would be important for the
command and control to support the command and control of a
no-fly zone," he noted.
NATO, Rhodes said, is essentially set up to coordinate
the activities of many different military forces.

"The ability to coordinate different roles and
responsibilities of partners in a military operation like this
is something that exists within NATO," he said.
"Again, you`re going to have a situation going forward
where different nations are going to make different
contributions, whether it`s related to flying planes,
providing other types of support, logistics or intelligence.

So it?s important you have a command structure that can
support different types of contributions of different
nations," Rhodes said in response to a question.
Rhodes said there will be a broader structure in place so
as to encompass non-NATO countries as well.

"So I think it`s an important distinction that there are
capabilities within NATO that can support a command structure,
but there is a broader coalition," he observed, but was quick
to add that nothing has been finalized yet.

"The command structure is not yet finalized, but I think
what everybody does agree is that there is a key role that
NATO can play.
Again, just this morning, the President spoke, as you
know, to the Emir of Qatar, who has offered to contribute and
of course we believe that`s critically important to the effort
to have that kind of Arab participation, which obviously goes
beyond NATO as well," he said.

"What we`re focused on right now is figuring out what the
different contributions are going to be of different nations
and then what the structure is going to be in place that can
facilitate those contributions," Rhodes said.