WASHINGTON – The U.S. should avoid developing a closer relationship with Libyan opposition forces, defense leaders said Thursday, telling an often hostile Congress that foreign nations must now take over airstrike responsibilities and any effort to train and equip the rebels.
With the U.S. role in Libya at a turning point, the next critical decision is how, if at all, the U.S. chooses to support the opposition forces, particularly in the face of the ongoing budget crisis at home. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he is opposed to arming the rebels, a step his boss President Barack Obama has not ruled out.
Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said it was time to turn the bulk of the conflict over to NATO.
More Gates calls for limited role aiding Libyan rebels