US, allies edge closer toward formulating military options to halt violence against Libya

By Bradley Klapper,Matthew Lee, The Associated PressThe Canadian Press

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama warned Libya‘s leaders that the U.S. and its NATO allies are still considering military options in response to what he called “unacceptable” violence perpetrated by supporters of Moammar Gadhafi.

“I want to send a very clear message to those who are around Colonel Gadhafi. It is their choice to make how they operate moving forward. And they will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place,” Obama said during remarks in the Oval Office Monday.

Libyan warplanes launched multiple airstrikes on opposition fighters in the second day of a government crackdown to thwart rebels advancing on Gadhafi’s stronghold in Tripoli.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said a military response was no more likely Monday than it was before the surge in violence. He said the U.S. and its partners are considering a wide variety of military actions, including a no-fly zone, but said deploying ground troops “is not top of the list at this point.”

Carney said the U.S. is also considering providing weapons to rebel forces, though he cautioned that there were still many unanswered questions about what groups comprise those forces. He said the U.S. is using diplomatic channels, as well as contacts in the business community and non-governmental organizations, to gather information about the opposition.

Obama said he has also authorized $15 million in humanitarian aid to help international and non-governmental organizations assist and evacuate people fleeing the violence in Libya. More than 200,000 people have fled the country, most of them foreign workers, creating a humanitarian crisis across the border withTunisia — another North African country in turmoil after an uprising in January that ousted its longtime leader.

Hundreds if not thousands of people have died since Libya’s uprising began, although tight restrictions on media make it nearly impossible to get an accurate tally.

The U.S. and United Nations have imposed sanctions on Gadhafi’s regime, and U.S. military forces have also moved closer to Libya’s shores to back up demands that Gadhafi step down.

Obama spoke alongside Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is in Washington for meetings.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/obama-us-nato-allies-still-considering-military-action-20110307-083347-439.html

 

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About luisyork

Poli Sci graduate with an interest in International Relations and Development. View all posts by luisyork

4 responses to “US, allies edge closer toward formulating military options to halt violence against Libya

  • Kate Chopin

    Thanks for your reply, Luis.

    I agree with most everything you have said. The one problem I see with intervention is the question of what comes next. As we’ve seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, military intervention is not a quick or simple solution and, as you’ve mentioned, U.S. intervention in those states has cost America a lot.

    • luisyork

      Kate,

      If I may ask, what role should the US play in this scenario if they are not to aid militarily, and what do you envision as a solution?

      By the way, you are very welcome 🙂

      Luis

  • Kate Chopin

    Interesting article. What are your thoughts on whether or not the U.S. should intervene?

    • luisyork

      Kate,

      We are all used to the fact that the US as a superpower has taken an interest in foreign conflicts in the past. Its true that they have picked the ones that are most advantageous to their interests, leading us to question the validity of their aid and tainting the American image to the world.

      With oil prices soaring, innocent dying and the entire world watching, I am sure that there is a lot of pressure for the US to act. However I do not know if the US alone should or can intervene. We must remember that the war in Iraq has drained their economy and has left a sour taste in everyones mouth. I don’t think Obama wants to make the same mistake, by committing aid to a conflict with no clear signs of ending.

      With that said I do think a coalition of armed forces made up of not only the US, but other nations, should intervene in Libya. Remove Gadhafi and then give the nation back to its people, restoring their autonomy to construct a government of their own choosing.

      This to me, seems at the moment to be right course of action, however with resources at stake and the interplay of politics, it could all change very quickly.

      I thank you for your comment and I hope my reply provides fodder for discussion.

      Cheers,
      Luis

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