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The leaders of the U.S., France and the U.K. said the North Atlantic Treaty Organization must continue operations in Libya until Col. Moammar Gadhafi leaves power, raising the stakes in the showdown with the Libyan ruler.
Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has told a foreign ministers' summit the alliance needs "a few more" aircraft for its mission in Libya.
Mr Rasmussen said he had received no offers from any ally at the meeting in Berlin to supply the extra warplanes, but he remained hopeful.
U.S. and allied intelligence agencies believe NATO's no-fly zone and air strikes will be effective in stopping Muammar Gaddafi's forces from killing civilians and dislodging rebels from strongholds like Benghazi, the officials say.
But the more the intelligence agencies learn about rebel forces, the more they appear to be hopelessly disorganized and incapable of coalescing in the foreseeable future.
U.S. government experts believe the state of the opposition is so grave that it could take years to organize, arm and train them into a fighting force strong enough to drive Gaddafi from power and set up a working government.