5 Sep 2011 By JULIAN HALE DefenseNews
BRUSSELS - NATO's top leader said he would "appreciate it if the EU could take a major role in assisting the National Transitional Council and Libya in the reconstruction of Libya."
"NATO and its partners will be there as long as needed but not a minute longer," Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters here Sept. 5.
Fogh Rasmussen also said that Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Va., is assembling a list of ways members could work together, to be discussed at the alliance summit in Chicago next yearworking on a "smart defense" concept identifying areas for potential multinational cooperation, said NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at a press conference here September 5.
"We have until May 2012 [the date of NATO's next summit in Chicago] to try to identify areas where groups of countries could pool and share resources," Fogh Rasmussen said. "Hopefully in Chicago we can identify lead nations to carry forward those projects."
The Libya operation "couldn't have been done without U.S. capabilities such as drones, intelligence and refueling aircraft," he said. "These capabilities are vital to all of us. More allies should be willing to obtain them. That's a real challenge. We'll have to find solutions at the next NATO summit in Chicago."
He said another such area is transport and strategic airlift capacity, which he called he said. He called is "one of the weaknesses of European armed forces." He said there is a "general challenge to ensure European forces become more mobile." and said this was. "We lack strategic airlift capacity," he said.
He noted that allies other than the Unites States had provided most of the assets for the Libyan operation, including the majority of the assets for the operation in terms of strike aircraft (Canada, European allies and regional partners) and maritime assets (Canada and European allies).
He also noted that alliance leaders at last year's summit in Lisbon said critical capabilities included at the cited missile defense, cyberdefense and countering roadside bombs.