A former ambassador to NATO during the presidency of George W. Bush has spoken out on conflicting rhetoric and goals in Libya as outlined by the Obama administration.
In an interview with CBS News political analyst John Dickerson, Nicholas Burns, also a former undersecretary of State for political affairs, said there are "question marks" about the U.S. and NATO's roles in Libya.
"The problem with this operation all along, and its not just a U.S. problem, it's coalition-wide, is there's been a contradiction between the rhetoric and the fuzziness of what the end state is," Burns said Friday.
As U.S. involvement in Libya reaches a turning point and NATO takes a more central role, Burns warned of the administration's "gamble."
"If it's a tepid effort," he said. "Qaddafi may well survive this crisis," which Burns said could go on for months, even years.
While NATO leaders Britain, France and Italy are "very capable," Burns said allies "can't match the firepower, the sustainability, of what the U.S. brings to a military theater."
"[The U.S.] is heart and soul of the NATO alliance," Burns told Dickerson.