Adviser: US maintains limited role in weapons hunt

AP News
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Posted: Sep 11, 2011 1:33 PM
Adviser: US maintains limited role in weapons hunt

The Obama administration won't pursue unilateral efforts to find missing shoulder-fired missiles and other weapons in Libya, President Barack Obama's counterintelligence adviser said Sunday.

"What we're going to do is continue to monitor the situation closely, provide them information and intelligence they need so they can find the weapons," adviser John Brennan told "Fox News Sunday."

U.S. officials in intelligence and nonproliferation have argued that the price of the missiles, known as Man-Portable Air Defense Systems, or MANPADS, has been dropping, indicating that some are already being sold on Libya's regional black market.

Many of the aging rockets may not work, but the Soviet-era missiles can used to take down a helicopter or civilian jetliner.

Officials have previously said the White House was resisting calls to expand the CIA's cover mission Libya, as well as ruling out deploying U.S. ground troops. Instead, the administration has pushed for other NATO partners to step in and take up the hunt.

Brennan said Sunday the U.S. would continue "working closely with Libyan officials ... and help them to ensure that weapons are not falling into the wrong hands."