"NATO will have done a good thing in Libya" – diplomat

Three months into NATO’s aerial campaign against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the alliance remains committed to its mission. But such efforts, warned former UK diplomat Sir Tony Brenton, always take time.

­“We – the UK, France, NATO – have to be very cautious and attentive to the requirements of the UN Security Council resolution – [namely], saving civilian lives,” Brenton, who served as London’s ambassador to Russia from 2004 to 2008, told RT at the presentation of Yaroslavl Global Policy Forum in Brussels. “That obviously requires the removal of Gaddafi, who is a very brutal dictator. We have to stay the course. Sooner or later Gaddafi is going to fall, and we will have done a very good thing.” 

But with the situation in Libya far from stable, and with the number of civilian casualties continuously rising, serious misgivings have been expressed in NATO countries about the intervention in the North African country. On Tuesday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron felt compelled to defend London’s military involvement in Libya, declaring that the campaign will last as long as necessary.

Fraser Cameron, the director of EU-Russia Center (and no relation to the UK prime minister), sounded a similar note, arguing that NATO would succeed because the price of failure would be too high.

“It is a kind of a stalemate, but NATO – the most important military alliance ever in history – is not going to be defeated,” he said speaking with RT at the international forum in Brussels. “There is a lot at stake, so it will do whatever it has to do to ensure that there is the right outcome in Libya.”

­Even if the campaign is brought to a successful conclusion, however, an arguably greater challenge awaits the international community: rebuilding a post-Gaddafi Libya. And the path to a new Libya, cautioned democratization scholar Richard Youngs, will be long and complicated.

“I think what is really needed is a contribution from European and other countries over the longer term to help build political institutions, to help with civilian instruments, building civil society, helping build a more robust economic system,” said Youngs, the director general of Fride, a European think tank. “This is really where the challenge lies over the next five to 10 years – to try to build a more open and responsive political system after the current conflict hopefully ends.”

Watch Richard Youngs speaking with RT at the international forum in Brussels:

The 2011 Global Policy Forum, devoted to the subject “The Modern State in the Age of Social Diversity”, will take place in the Russian city of Yaroslavl on September 7-8.

The forum, which will be held under the auspices of President Medvedev, will draw authoritative political and public figures from many countries.

They plan to discuss the issue of efficient performance of modern democratic states in the age of social diversity. It comes at a time when countries face the need to combine efficient economy and the principles of social justice, innovation and regard for different ethnic groups, the distinctive character of migrants and the necessity of their integration within one nation, as well as human rights and the maintenance of global security.