"We believe that the Libyan people no longer want Gaddafi to remain in power as the leader of Libya," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at his daily news conference.
Not willing to speculate about the outcome of a potential ceasefire or negotiations, he said it remains US President Barack Obama's position that Gaddafi should not lead Libya and that the Libyan people should decide their future.
"We support a democratic transition, free and fair elections, and a government that arises out of that process that is responsive to the aspirations of the Libyan people. That remains our position," he said.
"Our goal of having Gaddafi step down, take himself out of power or be removed from power, is a non-military goal. We support the aspirations of the Libyan people. The opposition to Gaddafi is driven by the fact that Gaddafi was such a brutal leader and did not respond or answer to the desires and aspirations of the Libyan people," Carney said.
Along with the military action, he said the US and its international coalition are working very diligently to continue to put pressure on the Gaddafi regime.
"There are a variety of ways to measure Gaddafi's relative strength in this situation, or weakness. I think one measure is to look at what''s happening to the circle around him," Carney said.
"One of his most trusted aides (Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa) defected, flew to United Kingdom with no immunity, and has abandoned what we think is a sinking ship. We think that's an important development," he said.