Saturday, April 16, 2011

Will the White House Recognize the US as a NATO Member?

It’s hard to tell. Mark C. Toner, Acting Deputy Department Spokesman, April 12, 2011:

That’s all I have for the top. I’ll take your questions.

QUESTION: Mark, on Libya, there seems to be some unhappiness in Europe among your European NATO allies, in particular your first ally ever, France, and its – enemy ever.

MR. TONER: You mean ever ever? (Laughter.) Yes.

QUESTION: Yes. And Britain. They seem to be teaming up on you wanting more U.S. military input – a bigger U.S. role in the NATO operation. Are there any plans to increase – to go back to where – to increase that role, to go back to where it was at the beginning?

MR. TONER: Matt, I’m aware of the remarks and I don’t know that they were necessarily ganging up on us. I think they were commenting on NATO’s tempo of operations. And I believe NATO briefed earlier on this issue today and addressed some of those concerns.
We have every confidence in NATO’s ability to carry out the tasks of enforcing the arms embargo as well as the no-fly zone and the protection of civilians in Libya. As the President said, the U.S. and other key partners had capabilities that they brought to this operation up front, and then our role would diminish as NATO stepped up and took command and control of the operation.

MR. TONER: God bless you.
And that’s what’s happened, and we have confidence in NATO’s ability to carry out the mission.


MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: You talk about NATO as if it is some extraterrestrial being from another planet with which you have occasional meetings. (Laughter.) I mean, you are the largest country in NATO.