NATO Asks for More Planes

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a foreign ministers’ summit Thursday that the alliance needs “a few more” aircraft for its mission in Libya. However, no one at the meeting offered to provide any additional warplanes. Britain and France have recently been urging allies to become more actively involved with ground attack planes to intensify air raids, which they believe would provide better protection for civilians and break the military deadlock. Rasmussen said that they need more sophisticated equipment to continue the attacks, because pro-Gaddafi forces are hiding their weaponry in populated areas. Estimates suggest that about 12 extra strike aircraft would allow NATO to maintain the intensity of the operation. Only a few of NATO’s 28 members are carrying out airstrikes. Some, like Spain and Italy, are refusing to carry out strikes on ground targets.