by Devapriyo Das
COPENHAGEN, March 25 (Xinhua)-- As a multinational force dominates the skies above Libya, doubts are emerging over the long-term aims and objectives of its mission.
The coalition's air- and sea-launched strikes appear to have crippled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's air defenses, and slowed his troops' advance on opposition strongholds.
Its mandate to intervene in Libya was provided by the U.N. Security Council, which voted last Thursday to enforce a no-fly zone over the country, and take "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from attacks by pro-Gaddafi forces.
Now, analysts fear the mission may lose direction and the Libya intervention end in a stalemate.
"The mission has not overstepped the U.N. mandate but I do not think the coalition of the willing has full control of what the next steps are going to be," said Fabrizio Tassinari, an expert on European security issues at the Danish Institute for International Studies, a think-tank.
"What the coalition decides to do next will most likely be outside the U.N. mandate," Tassinari said, adding it might involve using options beyond the no-fly zone.
"It also does not seem clear to me who has control of the political steps that should follow the military operation," he told Xinhua.