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Key Senators Back US War in Libya

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TEHRAN, May 24 (ICANA) – A "bipartisan" resolution has been introduced by Senators John Kerry (D - MA) and John McCain (D - AZ), the two most recent failed presidential candidates, to express non-specific Senatorial "support" for the war in Libya.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:59:43 PM
Key Senators Back US War in Libya

The move appears to be a response to President Obama's failure to secure any Congressional approval for the war by Friday, which was the deadline required under the War Powers Act. Obama requested approval late Friday afternoon. Antiwar

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) hinted Monday that a Libya resolution would be attached as an amendment to a defense authorization bill that the House will begin debating on Tuesday. The Hill

The document said the Senate "agrees that the goal of United States policy in Libya, as stated by the president, is to achieve the departure from power of Muammar Gaddafi and his family." AFP

While Congress would be unlikely to vote down a resolution supporting a U.S. military mission, any measure of support is likely to face opposition from a group of liberals and conservatives who have said Obama erred by deploying the military without explicit congressional backing. The Hill

However, the resolution falls short of explicitly giving the president congressional authorization for U.S. military involvement in Libya. CNN

The resolution by Kerry and McCain, which they had been working on for some time but until now had not made public, is not a formal authorization of military action in Libya. The resolution makes no mention of the War Powers Act. CNN

Adopting UNSC Resolution 1973 by a vote of 10 in favor to none against, with 5 abstentions the Council authorized Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in Libya. The resolution does not authorize regime change. Guardian

Before the no-fly zone was adopted, a number of senior U.S. officials including Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned about the consequences of such a decision. NY Times

 

The United States led the bombing campaign in its first week, but has since then taken a back seat, putting NATO in command with the British and French responsible for most strikes on Gaddafi's forces. President Obama made it clear that Washington was not planning to resume a more active military role. Huffington Post

The stated mission of the U.S. has been to protect Libyan civilians from Gaddafi's military forces but not to attack Gaddafi directly. Obama has said the goal is to give Libyan fighters the opportunity to gain enough strength to oust Gaddafi themselves. Still, Obama and other American officials have called for Gaddafi to step down from power. The Hill

U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged on April 15 that there was a "stalemate" on the ground in Libya. Gulf News

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said May 12 that the air war in Libya had cost the United States roughly $750 million to date, more than initially anticipated by the Pentagon. defensenews.com

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said the United States should take a more aggressive approach in Libya to oust Dictator Muammar Gaddafi, bombing the capitol city so members of Gaddafi's inner circle "wake up every day wondering, 'will this be my last?' " Huffington Post

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