Washington (AFP) Feb 28, 2011
The US military is moving naval and air forces into position around Libya, the Pentagon said Monday, as Western countries weigh possible intervention against Moamer Kadhafi's regime.
"We have planners working various contingency plans, and I think it's safe to say as part of that we're repositioning forces to provide for that flexibility once decisions are made," Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters.
The redeployment of "naval and air forces" would give US President Barack Obama a range of options in the crisis, said Lapan, without specifying what ships and aircraft had been given orders or what potential action was under consideration.
As Kadhafi's troops assaulted opposition forces, US and European leaders were weighing the use of NATO air power to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to stop Kadhafi from using air strikes against his own people.
For any military intervention featuring air power, US commanders could turn to the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier, which is currently in the Red Sea, as well as the amphibious ship the USS Kearsarge, which has a fleet of helicopters and about 2,000 Marines on board.
As of Monday, the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise had moved to the north of the Red Sea, near the Suez Canal, according to the US Navy's website.
As recently as last week, the carrier was in the Gulf of Aden, when it was part of a naval force tracking a pirate attack on a US yacht. The ship had passed through the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean earlier this month on its way to the Arabian Sea.
Apart from a possible no-fly zone, Western nations were also looking at setting up a humanitarian "corridor" in neighboring Tunisia or Egypt to help refugees, the New York Times reported Sunday.
The Obama administration also was discussing whether the American military could disrupt communications to prevent Kadhafi from broadcasting in Libya, the Times wrote.
US and NATO bases in Italy could serve as potential staging areas for any action against Libya, including the US Sixth Fleet command near Naples.
The American military was preparing for a range of possible options but no final decision had been taken, a defense official said.
"We're very much in an exploratory phase right now," a US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in an interview published last week, said that France and Italy could be better placed to enforce a no-fly zone.
"The French -- I don't know what the British have in the area -- but the French and the Italians potentially, I suppose, could have some assets they could put in there quicker," he told The Weekly Standard magazine.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Israel PM meets Blair as Quartet pushes peace
Jerusalem (AFP) Feb 28, 2011
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Monday with Quartet envoy Tony Blair, as negotiators sought to coax Israel and the Palestinians into dialogue. Israeli officials confirmed the two had met but refused to give details of what was discussed, as media reports suggested the premier was shying away from sending his chief negotiator to Brussels to meet representatives of the Middle ... read more
Israel successfully tests Arrow anti-missile system|
Knesset urges $1.4 billion Iron Dome buy
Surface Combat Systems Center Tests Aegis BMD Capabilities
Boeing And Northrop Grumman Submit Proposal For Missile Defense Competitive Contract
Enhancing The Protection Of Rotary Aircraft Against Missiles
JLENS Program Achieves Critical Milestone
System Integration Test For SM-3 Kinetic Warhead Completed
$7 bn UAE missile deal expected this spring
Fire Scout Completes First Unmanned Test Flights On Littoral Combat Ship
K-MAX Achieves Numerous Firsts During Recent Demo Flights
Northrop Grumman Awarded UAS Common Architecture Working Group Contract
AeroVironment Develops World's First Fully Operational Life-Size Hummingbird-Like Unmanned Aircraft for DARPA
ONR Moves A Modular Space Communications Asset Into Unmanned Aircraft For Marines
Northrop Grumman Next-Gen FBCB2 System Approved For Fielding
Boeing To Demonstrate Aviation Command And Control Subsystem For US Marine Corps
RC-12X Aircraft Provides Highly-Capable SIGINT Systems To Warfighter
LockMart Receives Major Contract Modification For F-22 Raptor Sustainment
Boeing Receives Second Option Of B-52 Engineering Sustainment Contract
A Device Enables The Remote Explosion Of Improvised Land-Mines
Boeing EA-18G Growlers Deployed by US Navy
EADS 'evaluating' US Air Force tanker award data
Britain may scrap Tornadoes to save $1.6B
Libya arms embargo halts boom for Italy, Russia
India hikes defence spending by 12 percent
Japan, China agree to patch up ties
Mullen Mideast trip shows US 'worry': Iran general
US top military officer visits Gulf amid Arab revolts
Taiwan cardinal eyes China-Vatican dialogue
Scientists Build World's First Anti-Laser
Yale scientists build 'anti-laser'
'Air laser' could find bombs at a distance
ONR Achieves Milestone In Free Electron Laser Program
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|