The 28 NATO members gave the Alliance a new Strategic Concept with three core tasks: collective defense, crisis management and cooperative security. Yet, just four months after the historic Lisbon summit, the members disagree considerably on NATO's role in the crisis management concerning Libya.
After many long deliberations NATO is currently only responsible for enforcing an arms embargo against Libya, although NATO has completed plans to "help enforce the no-fly zone," as Secretary General Rasmussen explains in a very long and diplomatic sentence in this video:
James Joyner of the Atlantic Council posts a "slightly tongue-in-cheek, guide to the intra-alliance debate over NATO's role in Libya":
The Italians want NATO to take over so they can avoid national responsibility (i.e., tell their Arab friends "it's not us, it's NATO, so we don't have a choice").
The French want to keep NATO out because they want to prove that THEY are the true friends of the Arabs, and they'll keep that bad NATO away.
The Germans want to keep NATO out because they don't believe in military action, and NATO having responsibility means Germany would be held to be responsible. (...)
The US wants NATO to take over as a "handoff" -- even though it means a handoff to ourselves. In the American political lexicon, NATO has come to mean "Europe" -- and the Obama team just wants to hand off so it's not an "Obama war." (...)
Apart from that, we've got a consensus!