Allies Deeply Divided Over Libya

After largely succeeding in halting a massacre of Libya’s rebel forces, the loose coalition behind Operation Odyssey Dawn now can’t come to an agreement on the next steps. Urged by the Obama administration, which is facing pressure at home, allies agreed Thursday to hand over leadership of the operation to NATO. Some U.S. officials have openly called for Gaddafi’s overthrow from within, even as the administration has insisted that is not the goal of the bombing. France has gone further, recognizing the rebels as Libya’s legitimate representatives, but other allies are hesitant. Talks among NATO powers over what to do next broke down almost immediately over disagreement about the scope of the effort: Some nations want to strike Gaddafi’s remaining strongholds on the ground, while others might consider an arrangement that allowed Gaddafi to stay in some capacity. Most of the allies expect military pressure will lead to talks with the rebels. “From the start, President Obama has stated that the role of the U.S. military would be limited in time and scope,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated Thursday evening.