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Norway To Withdraw From Libya Campaign

June 10, 2011

Norway's government says it will scale down its fighter jet contribution in Libya from six to four planes and withdraw completely from the NATO-led operation by August 1.

Defense Minister Grete Faremo said she expected understanding from NATO allies because Norway had a small air force and cannot "maintain a large fighter jet contribution during a long time."

The announcement comes shortly after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that the United States' military alliance with Europe faced a "dim, if not dismal" future.

In a speech to the Security and Defense Agenda think tank in Brussels, Gates questioned NATO's viability due to the lack of military spending and political will of the U.S. allies.

With half of the countries in the 28-member alliance not participating in the Libya campaign, Gates said it reflected a worrisome lack of military assets.

He warned that "shortcomings" in capability and will could jeopardize the alliance's campaign in Libya.

Meanwhile, Libyan state television reported that Libyan forces today shot down a NATO helicopter. NATO denied the report.

compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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