Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen sees no direct military role in Syria
for the alliance and warned against any stepped-up western military
think everybody realizes that any foreign military intervention might have
unpredictable regional repercussions," Rasmussen told CBS News after a White
House meeting with President Obama. "And this is a reason why it's so important
to focus on finding a political solution."
Civil War in
opposition group says it won't attend peace talks
currently commands six
Patriot missile batteries to
defend alliance-member Turkey from cross-border missile attacks from Syria. Two
of the Patriot batteries are from the U.S. The other batteries are from Germany
and the Netherlands.
made it clear NATO envisions no wider role in the Syrian conflict, despite
NATO's previous military intervention - on humanitarian grounds - in the Balkans
is absolutely outrageous what we're seeing in Syria," Rasmussen said. "But there
is a clear difference between Libya and Syria. We took responsibility for the
operation in Libya based on a very clear United Nations mandate to protect the
civilian population and we got active support from countries in the region. None
of these conditions are fulfilled in Syria."
so, an op-ed Rasmussen wrote for Foreign Policy and headlined "How to Keep NATO
Strong" lauded the alliance's efforts in Libya where "it protected civilians
against attacks by their own murderous regime." Still, the NATO leader
maintained the same skittishness about military engagement expressed by the White
John McCain, R-Ariz., recently said the
U.S. was prepared to provide Patriot missiles to Jordan - the delivery of which
might be precursor to a U.S.-led effort to establish safe zones or no-fly zones
in Syria. The White House has said it's reviewing all military options in Syria
but has expressed no specific willingness to send Patriot batteries to
said Patriot missiles in Turkey define the limits of alliance assistance in the
me stress once again that NATO is engaged in defending and protecting our ally
Turkey, but I do believe that the right way forward in Syria is a political
solution," Rasmussen said.
the White House, which said Tuesday President Obama intended to meet with McCain
to discuss his recent trip to Syria and
engagement with opposition figures confirmed Friday no meetings had taken place
or were scheduled. McCain will appear on Face the Nation this Sunday.
also said U.S. and NATO troop withdrawals are on schedule in Afghanistan and he
backed Obama's recent speech on
the use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan until troop drawdowns are complete
welcome the President's statement, including the commitment to a continued fight
against terrorism," Rasmussen said. "As regards to drones, I don't see any
difference between manned aircraft and unmanned aircraft when we're speaking
about the legal aspects, and in many ways, drones can be very helpful. "
White House would not confirm this week multiple reports of
a CIA-commanded drone strike killing Wali ur-Rehman, top military strategist for
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
speech on his drone policy and the future of counter-terrorism strategies
emphasized drone strikes would continue against Al Qaeda and Taliban figures who
posed a "continuing and immediate" threat to U.S. or NATO military forces in
Afghanistan. Pakistani officials have since confirmed Rehman's