International Coalition 'Falling Apart' as Germany Pulls Out Troops from Libya Mission?

Posted: Mar 23, 2011 7:49 AM
A distressing overnight bulletin from the UK's Daily Mail that, if confirmed, further underscores what a muddled mess our coalition effort in Libya truly is -- regardless of its honorable intentions:

Deep divisions between allied forces currently bombing Libya worsened today as the German military announced it was pulling forces out of NATO over continued disagreement on who will lead the campaign.


A German military spokesman said it was recalling two frigates and AWACS surveillance plane crews from the Mediterranean, after fears they would be drawn into the conflict if NATO takes over control from the U.S.


The infighting comes as a heated meeting of NATO ambassadors yesterday failed to resolve whether the 28-nation alliance should run the operation to enforce a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone, diplomats said.


Yesterday a war of words erupted between the U.S. and Britain after the U.K. government claimed Muammar Gaddafi is a legitimate target for assassination.

The Mail lays out western ruptures in an excruciatingly blunt point-by-point format:

-Tensions with Britain as Gates rebukes UK government over suggestion Gaddafi could be assassinated

- French propose a new political 'committee' to oversee operations

- Germany pulls equipment out of NATO coalition over disagreement over campaign's direction

- Italians accuse French of backing NATO in exchange for oil contracts

- No-fly zone called into question after first wave of strikes 'neutralises' Libyan military machine

- U.K. ministers say war could last '30 years'

- Italy to 'take back control' of bases used by allies unless NATO leadership put in charge of the mission

- Russians tell U.S. to stop bombing in order to protect civilians - calls bombing a 'crusade'

Who could have possibly anticipated that a 'war by committee' (led by the French) might not be a dazzling success?