Washington (CNN) – Senator Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, on Sunday questioned the decision by the United States to pursue military action in Libya without clearly defined objectives, and expressed concern over the role of the U.S. in Libya's future.
Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "Where does our involvement stop? This is why, before it begins, we ought to have a plan and we ought to have outcomes defined as to why American forces, American money are going to be at stake."
Though he acknowledged the humanitarian crisis in Libya, Lugar raised the issue of continuing unrest throughout the Middle East region - and if, with two wars already underway in the region, the repercussions of the decision by the U.S. to participate in the institution of a no-fly zone in Libya had been thoroughly examined.
"Once again, we in the United States have not defined what we believe the outcome should be." Lugar said. "The president said Gadhafi should go because he's a monster and so forth, but is our objective that Gadhafi must go, in the way that Saddam Hussein must go, eight years ago for example? Precisely what outcome do we anticipate with the rest of the Libyans that are left? We don't know of an alternative government. But we know that many of the Libyans in the eastern part of the country went to Iraq to fight with Iraqis against American forces."
Lugar also said the U.S. cannot afford another war, and cited the current congressional budget fight over spending cuts.
"The fact is we cannot afford more wars now, and we're going to have to find in fact some curtailment of our military budget in addition to the so-called spending that we do, the 30 percent that we've been dealing with. There's another 70 percent out there and defense is a big part of it. In the midst of that, we have to be thinking carefully what our obligations are, how long they might continue."