Libya Sets Stage for Future Partnerships

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he is proud of the partnership between US and NATO over the last six months as coalition forces worked together to enforce a no-fly zone and protect the Libyan people from Moammar Qaddafi’s brutal regime. “It is a credit to the great job of nations working together on a common mission—something that is absolutely essential if we are to provide security in the future,” Panetta said during his address at the Naval Postgraduate School and Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center earlier this week. His comments seem to contradict former Defense Secretary Robert Gate’s scathing final remarks to NATO in June when he called on NATO countries to step up in Libya and help ease the burden that has fallen on the United States. At the time, the United States was providing roughly 75 percent of the aerial refueling capability for Operation Unified Protector and the vast majority of the ISR capabilities. (See also The Libya Mission from Air Force Magazine’s archive) (Gate’s NATO speech)