NATO takes over in Libya

[Jens Alamasian, Middle East & Africa Contributor]

Sify News: On Sunday, NATO formally took over all UN-articulated military interventions in Libya. This means that the current predominantly US-led coalition forces will cede command to NATO.

The organisation proposes to enforce the no-fly zone in Libya and has pledged to take:  ‘all necessary action’ to stop civilian attacks by the incumbent regime and: “.. to implement all aspects of the UN resolution. Nothing more, nothing less,” according to the organisation’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

NATO members, according the the rules of the organisation, need to decide now whether they will participate in the military operations and if so, their level of involvement. Only Germany so far has chosen to opt out of any military operations.

What is NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO, is an international governmental military group which came into being as a result of the North Atlantic Treaty of 4 April 1949. It is headquartered in Brussels.

The essence of NATO is that all member states agree to a system of collective defence which means that if an external party attacks any member, then all members will join in its defence. In that regard, it would seem that its role in Libya presents a somewhat exaggerated extension of its remit especially as the Libyan regime did not attack any of of its members.

NATO has 28 members: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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