In this effort, the U.S. leadership role remained decisive. Last March, President Obama directed that we shape a robust U.N. Security Council resolution with teeth — enabling international action to hold Gaddafi to account. He insisted that we precisely define our role so that U.S. forces would do what no other nation could do in shaping the battlefield in the campaign’s early days. And he intervened at critical junctures to increase the pressure on Gaddafi and support the Libyan people — adding armed Predators to the effort in June; increasing intelligence and targeting resources over the summer; and rallying other nations to join us in recognizing a new Libyan government in July. This approach succeeded in meeting our objectives and led to a division of labor that enabled others to contribute based on their distinctive capabilities and interests.
As we take stock of NATO’s strengths, we will also focus on how our alliance can be more effective in the future. We know that allies need more advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. They face shortages in helicopters and transport aircraft. They need to make greater investments in the precision munitions and unmanned systems that are critical on today’s battlefields and will be even more important in the future. As President Obama prepares to host the next NATO summit in Chicago in May, he is asking the alliance to ensure that it has cutting-edge capabilities.