Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) “has urged the United States to ‘re-engage’ militarily in the fight to oust Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, saying Washington’s NATO allies lack the necessary firepower,” according to the AFP.
"We appreciate contributions from all of our allies, the efforts they’re making, especially the British and the French. But the reality is the United States is NATO," McCain told the US-Islamic World Forum in Washington.
"When you say ‘we’re handing it over to NATO,’ we’re handing it over to people and countries with limited capabilities and limited assets.
"When you withdraw our most capable assets from the battlefield — the AC-130 gunships and the A-10 air-to-ground weapons system — then you lose a significant capability. Our allies just don’t have that," he continued.
The Pentagon “said last week that US combat aircraft had withdrawn from NATO operations in Libya, but has since retracted its statement, saying American fighter jets are still carrying out bombing raids on Libyan air defenses.”
US planes were not, however, taking part in bombing runs against tanks or ground targets under a separate UN-backed mission to protect civilians against Kadhafi’s forces.
McCain does not want American ground troops sent in.
Voicing firm opposition to any US ground incursion, he stressed that any ground troops in Libya should be Libyan or of "other nationalities," but not American.