Panetta defends NATO’s Libya mission

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NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, Italy — U.S Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Friday assailed people who have questioned the wisdom of the joint U.S.-NATO campaign against Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, saying “the critics have really been proven wrong.” Completing an overseas trip, the defense secretary fiercely defended the Libyan operation as he got a new assessment from U.S. and NATO commanders on what steps are necessary to bring the mission to an end. “I have to tell you that at the time that this mission (was) embarked on, there were a lot of critics about whether it was the right mission, at the right time with the right force, whether NATO could do the job,” Panetta told a group of…

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