Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Libyan air strikes: Armed Forces minister admits there is no exit strategy

The Government does not know how long the Armed Forces will be engaged in Libya, a defence minister admitted as debate intensified over the likely outcome, cost and leadership of the mission.

Nick Harvey, the Armed Forces minister, was asked how long Britain would be involved in the military operation in north Africa. He replied: “How long is a piece of string? We don’t know how long this is going to go on for.”

His admission, three days into the intervention, came as ministers faced mounting pressure to set out the limits of Britain’s involvement and explain their eventual exit strategy.

MPs were becoming increasingly concerned that Britain would be “sucked in” to a prolonged conflict.

Adding to the sense of uncertainty, France and Britain remained at odds over a plan for Nato to take over command of military operations when the US winds down its involvement, a transition expected in days. (read more)