US sees possible French, British lead on Libya

March 21, 2011 01:03

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT - The United States sees several possibilities for future leadership of the campaign in Libya, but Arab allies are sensitive to operating under a NATO flag, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday.

"I think that there a couple of possibilities. One is British and French leadership. Another is the use of the NATO machinery," Gates said as he to flew to Russia on Sunday.

"I think there is a sensitivity on the part of the Arab League to being seen to be operating under a NATO umbrella. And so the question is if there is a way we can work out NATO's command and control machinery without it being a NATO mission and without a NATO flag, and so on."

Gates also said a break-up of Libya would be a formula for instability.

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