The Obama administration is debating just how aggressively to pursue Libya's vast weapons stores.
The State Department wants to wait for fighting to be over before moving throughout Libya to locate and secure fugitive leader Moammar Gadhafi's massive weapons cache, according to two U.S. officials.
Meanwhile, regional experts fear thousands of anti-aircraft rockets and heavy weapons could fall into the hands of al Qaeda or Libyan loyalists.
So far, the White House has resisted calls to expand the CIA's mission to track down the weaponry. The administration wants America's NATO partners to do the job.
Most of the U.S. intelligence gathering trying to find the weapons caches has been done electronically through U.S. military drones, satellites and spy plane feeds.
The State Department believes that most of Libya's raw nuclear material and the deadly chemicals are secure. But the department acknowledged the fate of the thousands of rockets and conventional weaponry is less clear.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the leaders of the rebel government in Libya, the Transitional National Council, had obligations to the international community as well as to their own people as they take control of the Arab country.
"We will look to them to ensure that Libya fulfills its treaty responsibilities, that it ensures that its weapons stockpiles do not threaten its neighbors or fall into the wrong hands, and that it takes a firm stand against violent extremism," Clinton said in a statement Thursday night.