Libya Lessons Learned

A “lessons learned” report about NATO’s intervention in Libya in 2011 is due to NATO defense ministers in October, said Alexander Vershbow, the alliance’s deputy secretary general, on Aug. 29. While not yet complete, the report will highlight the fact that NATO members “began to see their stocks of certain guided munitions rapidly being depleted” during the air campaign, he said during a meeting with defense reporters in Washington, D.C. Asked whether alliance members have replaced those munitions stocks, Vershbow said he didn’t know offhand, But, he added, alliance members “recognize their responsibilities” in having enough weapons available “for the next one, whatever it might be . . . even with the budgetary constraints most allies are operating under.” NATO is reassessing its necessary weapon levels, what “qualitative characteristics” they should have, and “other major shortfalls” identified in the Libyan campaign, such as in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability and aerial refueling, he noted.