Analysts at the NATO Defense College in Rome see a possible alliance role in security sector reform and helping plan the deployment of a peacekeeping mission in post-conflict Libya.
In a short discussion paper, they state that any NATO engagement in Libya should not distract from the alliance's first priority, the success of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The paper calls on NATO to end Operation Unified Protector as soon as the security situation in Libya allows, which "is not necessarily dependent on the capture or death of Gaddafi," leaving it up to individual alliance member states to support the National Transitional Council (NTC) in pursuing and prosecuting the previous Libyan leadership.
Neither do the analysts see a role for NATO in deploying ground forces as part of a stabilization mission or in nation building. "The Alliance should not become the impresario of reconstruction efforts in Libya."
Instead, they propose a NATO training mission in Libya based on the experience of the alliance's training mission in Afghanistan. They also favor inviting Libya to join NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue partnership program as quickly as possible, initially as an observer and as a full member when a functioning Libyan government is established.
The analysts do not consider NATO to be well-suited for a stabilization mission in Libya, given the alliance's ongoing responsibilities, but see the possibility of it supporting the Arab League in the planning of such a mission. "If an international stabilization force is needed, a coalition of the willing, perhaps involving both regional forces and military capable forces from outside the region, is likely the best answer," they say, pointing out that the NTC prefers a peacekeeping force and police support from Arab/Muslim countries and that Jordan, Qatar, and Tunisia have indicated their willingness to participate.