“We’re looking at the no-fly zone in a variety of different options. We haven’t actually had a discussion yet. The military authorities haven’t finalized that planning,” said Daalder, in a conference call read out of the day’s meetings.
But while Obama administration officials continue to insist the no-fly zone is on the table, Daalder expressed skepticism that such a move would be effective in stopping Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi’s crackdown on rebel forces. He noted that air attacks in Libya have declined since a peak late last week.
“[I]t’s important to understand that no-fly zones…really have a limited effect against the helicopters or the kind of ground operations that we’ve seen, which is why a no-fly zone, even if it were to be established, isn’t really going to impact what is happening there today,” Daalder said. “And the kinds of capabilities that are being used to attack the rebel forces and, indeed, the population will be largely unaffected by a no-fly zone. “