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NATO in Libya a 'model' for Euro-US cooperation: US official
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Sept 14, 2011

A senior US State Department official on Wednesday hailed NATO's air strike campaign in Libya as a "model" for future cooperation between European members of the military alliance and the US.

The operation in Libya was "in many ways a model on how the United States can lead the way that allows allies to support," Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Philip Gordon said at an event in Washington.

"What is new about Libya is the approach that the United States would do an initial phase that only the United States could do, and then that Europeans were playing a leading role in certain aspects," he said.

Britain and France spearheaded the air war to protect civilians from Moamer Kadhafi's forces in Libya, launching the first salvos under a coalition led by the United States on March 19.

But with the United States bogged down in Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama handed command of Libya operations to NATO on March 31.

At the outset, Obama called on NATO to take action and deployed "very unique capabilities no one else could deploy," Gordon said.

"Once the United States had done its job by suppressing the air defences in Libya, we saw the strike missions carried out in the lead by other allies," he said -- evidence that "it is possible to successfully conduct a NATO operation" without the US taking center stage.

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15% of Kadhafi's forces still operational: NATO
Paris (AFP) Sept 15, 2011 - Around 15 percent of deposed Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi's forces are still operational, NATO said Thursday.

The remaining forces are concentrated in a zone that stretches from Tripoli to the southern desert town of Sebha and to the coastal city of Sirte, NATO General Vincent Tesniere said in a press teleconference from Italy.

Asked what measures NATO was taking to locate Kadhafi, the general replied from the NATO base in Poggio Renatico in Italy that the alliance "does not seek to find persons."

Fighters loyal to Libya's new rulers are currently battling the remnants of Kadhafi's army.

On Thursday they were inside Sirte, the country's military said, after a massive convoy of its forces launched a bid to take Kadhafi's hometown.

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In Israel, the other army of God emerges
Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Sep 14, 2011
Israel is bracing for trouble over the Palestinians' expected move to declare statehood this month but there are fears that the real crisis will come from growing influence of right-wing Orthodox Jews in the Israeli armed forces, particularly the army. This is reaching such proportions that Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir, until recently the chief of the military's Personnel Directorate, warned the ... read more

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