President Obama placed a conference call on Friday to bring US lawmakers up-to-date on American involvement in the fight against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Transfer of Responsibilties to NATO
The following was statement was issued by the White House: “The President and his team provided an update on accomplishments to date, including the full transfer of enforcement of the no-fly zone to NATO, and yesterday’s unanimous agreement among NATO allies to direct planning for NATO to assume command and control of the civilian protection component.”According to Obama the US is planning on reducing its military involvement in the fighting taking place in Libya as the Americans hand over more of the responsibilities for supporting the Libyan rebels to the NATO forces. A Republican aide who was briefed on the content of the conference call said that removing Gaddafi from power or putting him on trial is not part of the US military mission and is rather the responsibility of the international criminal court at the Hague.
Still Some Concerns
The conference call was made to a broad spectrum of legislators, including 21 members of both the House and the Senate on both sides of the aisle, and leaders of important committees.Michael Steele, a spokesperson for Representative John Boehner, Ohio Republican, said, “The Speaker appreciates the update today, but still believes much more needs to be done by the Administration to provide clarity, particularly to the American people, on the military objective in Libya, America’s role, and how it is consistent with U.S. policy goals.”A spokesperson for Senator John McCain, Republican from Arizona said, “The president outlined his strategy for addressing the ongoing situation in Libya, however, Senator McCain remains concerned about the possibility of Gaddafi remaining in power despite U.S. policy that calls for his removal and resulting in a stalemate.”Adam Smith, Democratic Representative from Washington and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee said that Obama “made a compelling case” for the military campaign, but the end-game of that campaign still remains “unclear.”
Obama Desires to Include Representatives in Process
The White House press secretary Jay Carney said to the press for the call was placed that Obama’s intention for the call was to inform the US representatives of “what we’ve accomplished so far” in Libya and to “update them on the “transition of command and control to NATO.”Mr. Carney described the phone call as a “conversation.”
“We understand that it’s our responsibility,” Carney said. “We take the need to do so very seriously.”