Gates Urges Alliance to Step Up in Libya

Brussels—Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday called on NATO nations to help ease the burden on the nine alliance members currently involved in Libya. The United States continues to provide about 75 percent to 80 percent of the aerial refueling capability for Operation Unified Protector and a “great deal” of the ISR, he told reporters at NATO headquarters here, following his final meeting with alliance defense ministers. “We’re in this with our allies to the finish and I think we’ll be able to sustain, but the question is how sustainable it will be if other countries don’t step up,” he said. Gates has specially called on the Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey to help in the bombing strikes. All three countries have provided assets in support of the no-fly zone over Libya, but have not authorized their forces to drop bombs. He also urged Germany and Poland to get involved.