What’s Next for Libya and the NATO Mission? Today’s Qs for O’s WH — 10/20/2011

TAPPER: What will the U.S. be doing to help the Libyans through this process? I know there are a lot of State Department personnel on the ground there, very few military personnel, just guarding the U.S. embassy there. What exactly can the U.S. do and will the U.S. do?

CARNEY: Well, I think it’s a little premature to get into specific forms of assistance. I would refer you to the State Department for the kinds of assistance we’ve already provided.

TAPPER: You’ve been planning for this, though, for –

CARNEY: Well, no question, but I just don’t have a lot of information about what kind of assistance we’ll be providing Libya in the future beyond what we’ve already announced in terms of, as you mentioned, personnel on the ground, our embassy, and our efforts to — related to security.

But going forward we will, as the president said, be committed to helping Libya — together with our international partners – helping the Libyan people make this important transition.

TAPPER: So my understanding is NATO is meeting tomorrow to talk about what next or whether just to end the mission now that Gadhafi is apparently gone. Can you tell us any more about that?

CARNEY: Well, I think it’s clear that the NATO mission is coming to an end. I’ll leave it to NATO to formerly declare that as — and — but the mission that was outlined in the United Nations Security Council resolution was very clear, which was to protect the Libyan people from violence perpetrated by forces associated with the Gadhafi regime — not just because of the announcement of Gadhafi’s death but because of the successful taking of Sirte and other areas. Most of Libya is now under control of rebel forces, under control of the TNC. And that obviously bears on the NATO mission, bears on the security of the Libyan people. But I will leave it to NATO to make announcements about that.

-Jake Tapper

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