WASHINGTON — Libya’s civilians, already suffering shortages of food, water and power, are being battered by Muammar Gaddafi’s military forces in the country’s west despite the military intervention of a U.S.-led coalition intended to protect civilians.
Meantime, contingency planning for the next steps to protect civilians, providing security and humanitarian relief, is on hold because of confusion and squabbling over the ultimate goal of the military intervention.
White House officials tried to clear up the confusion Thursday, saying that while the United States hopes that Gaddafi steps down, it will not use force to make that happen. “We are not engaged in militarily-driven regime change,’’ White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
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