Kerry denies Libyan no-fly zone would be ‘military intervention’
Not everyone thinks that bombing Libyan targets in the process of creating a no-fly zone would amount to an attack on the country.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-MA) Sunday disagreed with the Obama administration’s view that bombing military targets to set up a no-fly zone would mean “military intervention.”
“The last thing we want to think about is any kind of military intervention,” Kerry told CBS’ Bob Schieffer. “And I don’t consider the no-fly zone stepping over that line.”
“We don’t want [US] troops on the ground. [The rebels] don’t want [US] troops on the ground. That would be counterproductive,” he added.
US Defense Secretary Bob Gates said last week that setting a no-fly zone would mean attacking Libya.
“Let’s call a spade a spade,” Gates said at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. “A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses.”
“It’s a big operation in a big country,” he added.
Schieffer pressed Kerry on the no-fly zone implementation, noting Gates’ warning.
“[Gates] says basically that’s going to war, because he says if you’re going to have a no-fly zone, you’ve got to go in there and bomb their anti-aircraft installations there, that you’re going to be bombing the country,” the CBS host said.
“That’s actually not the only option for what one could do,” Kerry replied. “One could crater the airports and the runways and leave them incapable of using them for a period of time.”
This video is from CBS’s Face the Nation, broadcast March 6, 2011.