It would not be difficult for the international community to establish a no-fly zone, but the main question is whether forces would intervene just to prevent a slaughter in Benghazi or to ouster Gadhafi.
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norman Schwartz said Thursday it could take upwards of a week to fully establish a no-fly zone and that public comments by some that it could be done in a few days are "overly optimistic."
He acknowledged there are limited Air Force assets because most of them are in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially transport aircraft.
Last week, Department of National Intelligence director James Clapper said the Libyan air force was large in raw numbers, but only a small number of aircraft were actually flying. A Pentagon analysis of Libya's air capabilities shows the overall readiness of Libyan aircraft is poor by western standards and most aircraft are now dated or obsolete in terms of avionics or upgrades. Eighty percent of the air force is judged to be "non-operational and "overhaul and combat repair capability is also limited."
ABC News' Christiane Amanpour, Kirit Radia and Luis Martinez contributed to this report.