Apparently some the alliance fears that a quick pullout will trigger an escalation in violence. This is a wise move and I expect to see this continue, overtly or otherwise, for quite some time. It’s all about sending the message to anyone, from Gaddafi loyalists to radical Islamists, that violence directed at the new government could trigger an alliance response. This assurance, backed up not only by air assets but with the fair amount of special forces in theater, is a critical backup for the NTC during this transition.
Recommended on Twitter: @AndersFoghR . Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the Secretary General of NATO.