White House spokesman Jay Carney said yesterday that the defection of Libya’s former foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, to England on Wednesday was a major sign that Qaddafi’s inner circle is falling apart. And Tommy Vietor, the National Security Council spokesman, said that Koussa could give allies “critical intelligence about Gaddafi's current state of mind and military plans.”
And that intel could help a great deal, since as Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress, Qaddafi’s military isn’t even close to breaking. Even though allied airstrikes have taken out many targets, the Libyan leader still has ten times more power than the rebels. As Mullen put it: “We have actually fairly seriously degraded his military capabilities. That does not mean he's about to break, from a military standpoint, because that's not the case.”
Defense Secretary Robert Gates meanwhile again maintained that Washington did not intend to send ground forces to Libya. In fact, Gates said “as long as I’m in this job,” no boots would be on the ground. He stressed that the rebels needed support, and that the United States is by no means the only country capable of providing it: “What the opposition needs as much as anything right now is some training, some command and control and some organization.” NATO took over full command of the campaign yesterday.