Gates again: "Let's just call a spade a spade"

West Cools on No-Fly Zone


The U.S. and allies have discussed the prospect of imposing a no-fly zone over the North African country to prevent Col. Gadhafi from using air forces to strike at protesters. But Mr. Gates on Wednesday made clear the U.S. military would have to launch pre-emptive strikes to destroy Libya's air defenses if President Barack Obama ordered the imposition of a no-fly zone,

"Let's just call a spade a spade," Mr. Gates said. "A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya."

Mr. Gates's words were the strongest public indication of skepticism within the administration about establishing a no-fly zone, especially without broad international support.

In recent days, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken supportively of a no-fly zone. Asked about the apparent contradiction between Mr. Gates's comments and Mrs. Clinton's remarks, Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said Wednesday that the no-fly zone is being "actively considered."

Comment: Not our fight. We already have two wars. If we start bombing air defences, we will become entangled in that mess.

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