Over the last month the Nato-led operation in Libya has been attacked from all parts. While the rebel fighters have reproached the Alliance lack of support on the ground coupled with weak organizational and operational skills and abilities, political figures have also come out and directly attacked the organisation.

US defence secretary Robert Gates took the lead when he delivered a blistering attack on European defence complacency, declaring that Nato has "become a "two-tiered" alliance of those willing to wage war and those only interested in "talking and peacekeeping.

Nato faced a "dim, if not dismal" future, consigned to "collective military irrelevance", Gates then argued.

"If current trends in the decline of European defence capabilities are not halted and reversed, future US political leaders - those for whom the cold war was not the formative experience that it was for me - may not consider the return on America's investment in Nato worth the cost."

During his speech the Defence secretary blasted the coalition forces lack of organisational and operational skills and planning before warning that the future of the Alliance could now depend on the "political and economic environment in the United States".

"The mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country," Gates said of the Anglo-French led campaign in Libya. "Yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the US, once more, to make up the difference."

Gates was surprisingly very confrontational; as he did not hesitate to openly talk about Europe's declining defence capabilities, allegations that the coalition forces seem to deny, as they insist the Alliance is in full control of the operation and succeeded where it expected to.

However, four months into the conflict it becomes now clear that Nato is struggling with its mission to protect the civilians, as when the forces do not accidentally kill the rebels or the civilians, they, despite an aerial bombing campaign, have not yet managed to force Gaddafi out.

It has then become apparent that without the US military input the Alliance is finding it hard to keep up with the financial demands and the reality of the fight on the grounds.

However, in the last few weeks, the attacks seem to have moved from Nato's decline to the operation itself. At the end of May, During the briefing at Admiralty House, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope said: "We have a small-scale commitment in Libya ... if we do it for longer than six months then we have to reprioritise our forces.'

During his address, the Admiral also made it clear that he did not have enough ships to continue the relatively small operation in Libya without something else having to give in.

"If we do it longer than six months we will have to reprioritise forces," he said. "That is being addressed now. It could be from around home waters. I will not prejudge what that decision will be."

The Admiral directly questioned the ability of the UK to play a leading military role in the operation over a long period of time, thus pointing out to a decline in the country's military and defence capabilities, provoking the fury of ten Downing Street.

More was yet to follow as yesterday; Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant warned MPs that the RAF's ability to deal with future emergencies is under threat if the British intervention in Libya continues beyond September.

"Two concurrent operations are placing a huge demand on equipment and personnel... Should Operation Ellamy (Libya) endure past defence planning assumptions the future contingent capability is likely to be eroded," Bryant said.

"The true strength is in our people in continuing to deliver, despite all that's asked of them.

Morale remains fragile. Although fighting spirit remains positive, this assessment will be challenged by individual harmony targets as Operation Ellamy endures [after September].

He continued: "There is decreasing satisfaction with the remunerative offer and allowances cut, and the pay freeze continues to bite.

"The impact of SDSR [strategic defence and security review] continues to undermine the sense of being valued. There is concern over the perceived lack of strategic direction which is restricting confidence in the senior leadership."

In an attempt to discredit the Chief Marshal's claim, the Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey later on insisted the UK continued to have the resources necessary to carry out operations.

However despite Prime Minister Cameron critic of Admiral Stanhope's speech and Mr Harveys denial of a lack of resources, the operation of Libya has taken an unexpected turn as instead of demonstrating Europe's prevalence, it has in contrast revealed its weaknesses in terms of defence and financial capabilities. While many seem to blame the operation in Libya, insisting the costs are too high and it is too demanding in terms of material and personnel, and others prefer to deny such problems in block, it seems that the Gaddafi regime will not be the only one to end up weakened by the Libyan conflict.