Skip to comments.NATO fights on though Libya coalition shrinks (And then there were 7)
Posted on 07/30/2011 3:52:03 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
BRUSSELS NATO allies are in a hurry to bring the air war in Libya to a victorious end but are having to carry on with a shrinking alliance after Norway withdrew its jets and Italy pulled an aircraft carrier.
Norways departure this weekend leaves the 28-nation military club with combat planes from seven nations instead of eight to finish a job begun four months ago that some hoped would last just weeks.
Britain has effectively stepped in to fill the gap left by Norway by contributing an extra four Tornado planes and will carry on the mission along with France, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and the United States.
But British officers have warned that their armed forces risked being overstretched with global commitments in Afghanistan as well as Libya.
Italy, Libyas former colonial ruler, is scaling back its involvement, withdrawing the aircraft carrier Garibaldi this month while the Senate voted Wednesday to drastically reduce the missions budget and number of troops.
The United States is floating the idea of asking NATO ambassadors to consider an open-ended mandate this time, sources familiar with the discussions told AFP.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsinfo.inquirer.net ...