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NATO’s Secrecy Stance

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NATO SECRECY STANCE
An Awacs performs during a military exercise in a display of the French assets used in NATO-led operations over Libya, at the Mont-de-Marsan military base, southwestern France, Thursday, Nov.10, 2011. (AP Photo/Bob Edme) | AP

SOMETIME late last Aug. 8, NATO warplanes flying from Europe arrived over the Libyan farming village of Majer, where forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi were withdrawing and anti-Qaddafi forces were claiming ground. Civilians were in motion, too — seeking pockets of safety away from the roaming sides, neither of which fought with precision or clear rules. This is the type of situation in which air support can be especially risky and in which, even with a careful calculus of modern target planning, mistakes are likely.

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