Politics & Policy

Candid Commander

Sec. Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus were caught joking about the possibility of U.S. interference in Libya today, perhaps signaling that neither of them take the idea seriously: 


In an unguarded moment captured by an NBC boom microphone on a tarmac in Kabul, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, could be heard lightheartedly greeting the defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, with the words, “You going to launch some attacks on Libya or something?’’

Mr. Gates replied, “Yeah, exactly.’’

The defense secretary was in Kabul, the Afghan capital, to meet with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and American troops. He has repeatedly cautioned against imposing a no-flight zone over Libya, saying that it would involve striking Libya’s air defenses and that now is not the time to get involved in a war with another Muslim country.

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