Hypocrisy of coalition states that won't get hands dirty
Published 15/04/2011 | 05:00
At last count, around 40 countries had committed themselves to support the NATO mission to protect Libya's civilian population. But when it comes to the altogether more challenging business of launching air strikes, only a handful are prepared to allow their planes to take part.
At present, just six nations -- Britain, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Belgium -- are involved in the 50 or so bombing missions that NATO aircraft are flying each night against forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi.
Of these, 40 are carried out by the British and French -- although senior NATO officers say they have been impressed by the performance of the Norwegians and the Danes, who have dropped a high percentage of their ordnance, whereas RAF pilots and their French counterparts often return with their weapons loads intact, for fear of causing civilian casualties.