Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said there is no clear set of conditions in Libya that will trigger an end to the combat mission. And he said he would yet not rule out extending the operation, which is set to end in late December, according to the Associated Press.
After two days of meetings, NATO ministers agreed the decision to end the mission in Libya will depend on threats to the country’s citizens.
If opposition forces are able to provide security for the country as it moves toward democracy, then the mission can wind down.
But Panetta’s comments make it clear that there is no definitive end to the mission.