Friday, March 11, 2011
Donilon Lays Out U.S. Strategy on Libya
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
Underlying the strategy is a point that President Barack Obama has made clear, that Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi “has lost legitimacy to lead, he’s lost the confidence of his people and should leave,” Donilon said.
“First, we did work to ensure that the international community spoke with one voice on this, the United States, the Europeans, the U.N., the Arab League, African Union and others deliver a clear message,” Donilon said.
The large number of nations condemning Gadhafi demonstrates his isolation, he said.
led with strong sanctions against United States , Donilon said, including freezing more than $32 billion of the Gadhafi regime’s assets. Libya
“We’ve coordinated additional sanctions with our European partners and they have enhanced those sanctions just in the last day or so,” he said.
The president also made it clear that the world will hold members of the Gadhafi regime accountable before the International Criminal Court, Donilon said.
“And we are going to be expanding these designations along the way, including using our intelligence assets to monitor Libyan activities,” he said.
Gadhafi’s minions who are executing his plans “need to think very carefully about this,” Donilon said. “They need to think about what they’re doing to their fellow citizens and they need to think about what the consequences are.
“Walking away now versus participating,” he continued, “is the difference between the international community pursuing them to justice, and all the way, and a different future.”
“We’re coordinating directly with them to provide assistance and determine the best ways we can support their aspirations and understand their leadership structures and their intentions,” he said. “We want to hear from them about the situation on the ground, what their plans are, what their recommendations are.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton intends to meet with opposition representatives next week, Donilon said, and the
is prepared to send diplomats to the rebel stronghold of United States . Benghazi
“This will be helpful to our understanding of the situation on the ground, allow us to facilitate humanitarian assistance,” he said.
Meanwhile, Donilon said, the
is providing humanitarian assistance to the Libyan people and those leaving United States . Libya
also is pursuing a range of military options, Donilon said, in conjunction with allies. NATO is increasing the number of ships in the central United States Mediterranean. NATO defense ministers also agreed to move ahead with detailed operational planning on two projects: humanitarian relief and more active enforcement of the arms embargo.
NATO defense ministers also are continuing plans for the full range of possibilities including a no-fly zone, the national security advisor said.
“These plans will be presented next week at NATO,” he said.
Earlier this week NATO agreed to put AWACs up over the
Mediterranean around the clock to expand surveillance and coordination.
The NATO defense ministers stressed that any action had to have a sound legal basis and regional support.
“It’s not just regional rhetorical support,” Donilon said. “We’re going to be seeking actual support by those nations -- the Arab League, the [Gulf Cooperative Council] and the African nations -- to participate in any of these efforts as they go forward.”
will also work in the closest way possible with the European Union to address the situation, the national security advisor said. United States
“Beyond this, we’re exploring additional sanctions by the United Nations Security Council resolution that will permit more active steps,” he said. “As we develop scenarios, as we develop planning in response to the situation on the ground, if we need additional United Nations Security Council authorities we will go get that.”
The situation in
is fluid and won’t be resolved overnight, Donilon said. Libya
“But I think looking at our efforts here … we’ve acted quite swiftly and steadily to ramp up our efforts” concerning
,” he said. Libya