While the United States presses ahead with our commitment to the latest war (at a projected cost of over $1 billion), Italy has been the latest NATO ally to break with NATO in calling for a suspension of hostilities in Libya. Of course, the Administration still insists that there are no hostilities to suspend. (For full disclosure, I am lead counsel representing the members challenging the Libyan war and its underlying policies).
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini noted that the U.S. and NATO attacks were adding to the humanitarian crisis rather than ending it, including the recent killing of civilians in what we have called non-hostilities.
One commentator, Natalino Ronzitti from the Rome-based International Affairs Institute, observed that “The alliance is coming unstuck.” The U.S. reportedly pressured NATO members opposed to the operation, including Turkey.
The White House has used the NATO involvement to try (unsuccessfully) to deflect criticism for entering another war and doing so without congressional approval.