"Stalemate" is not a word you will hear in public from the lips of ministers or media handlers in the Ministry of Defence here in London.
It was the British and the French, of course, who were at the forefront of pushing for military action in Libya.
Earlier this week, following talks with his French counterpart, UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox rejected any idea of a military stalemate, noting that the mission to defend the population in Libya would continue.
"It is very important," said Mr Fox, "that we give no sign of any wavering in our resolution."
Nonetheless there will be sighs of relief in London, Paris and beyond at the initial reports of rebel advances in and around the besieged town of Misrata.
Behind the scenes, though, there is growing concern at the duration of the campaign and the fact that political rhetoric seems to have outstripped what the military means available can deliver.