Top Republican amps up Libya criticism
March 21st, 2011
04:02 PM ET
11 years ago

Top Republican amps up Libya criticism

Washington (CNN) - The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday criticized the mission underway in Libya saying "there are no guidelines for success."

In an interview set to air Monday on CNN's "John King, USA," Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana said the operation has not been clearly defined.

"I do not understand the mission because as far as I can tell in the United States there is no mission and there are no guidelines for success," Lugar told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "That may well be true with our allies although conceivably they may have other missions in mind and simply try to get Security Council clearance to proceed."

In recent days the Senate's most senior Republican has expressed concern over action in the African country, and on Sunday said the U.S. cannot afford another war.

"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," Lugar told CNN. "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."

His comments are more critical of the action than other Republicans, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who have raised concerns but remain supportive of U.S. involvement.

- Watch the full interview on CNN's "John King, USA" at 7 p.m. ET

Filed under: Dick Lugar • Libya • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Moonbeam

    When some democrats criticized George W's actions during wartime they were accused of being unsupportive of the troops, unpatriotic, etc. But now some of those same people are criticizing this President for not publicly stating U.S. goals in Libya, and they are further stating their pessimism toward a favorable outcome. How is that supporting the troops? How would that not encourage Ghadafi to hang onto his rulership even longer?

    It should be obvious to anyone with an IQ above his shoe size that for the President to go on television and publicly announce strategy would constitute a forewarning not only to Ghadafi and his forces, but also to others who may be sympathetic to Ghadafi, and who would then have enough advance information to jeopardize the mission.

    The "talking heads" are just frothing at the mouth to ascertain behind-the-scenes mliitary strategy so they can improve their television ratings by spewing that information out over the airwaves, but that would be foolish from a strategic standpoint.

    I would think people with enough "smarts" to make into onto the national scene as a journalist or to make it into Congress would know that, but apparently not. Or, alternatively, they are simply advancing their own personal agendas without regard to the safety of those in harm's way in Libya. They all seem to want to play "armchair generals." Maybe it is they who should make public what their own personal goals that compelled them to act so selfishly.

    March 21, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Funny enough, there's a December 4, 1992 internal memo from AG William Barr and Asst. AG Tim Flanigan to President Bush (the first or course) that's online and I ran across it looking at some of the constitutional issues more carefully. It's fairly short and a decent explanation of the likely arguments to be made by any sitting POTUS for his/her constitutional authority to do precisely as Obama the context of sending troops and actually putting them on the ground in Somalia (as opposed to staioning them offshore to do flyovers and use cruise missles). Read it if you'd like more info...I won't post the link here because CNN doesn't like that, but you can Google it fairly easily.

    March 21, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. the real ib

    All the people that put Bush down for Iraq when almost the whole world thought he had WMD's and are now taking up for Obama on Libya are hyprocrites plain and simple. Libya has nothing that is a threat or even rumored to be a threat against the US and yet we are over there wasting tax dollars to take him out. No reason to be there other than Obama's ego.

    March 21, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. Greg

    He doesn't understand the mission???? I guess all the countries who voted for the present action are ignorant and of no direction.
    NOT!!! I think the reason is he doesn't understand the mission is because all so many of our bureaucrats do understand is something that only benefits the U.S. It's like they have no clue as to the meaning of "humanitarian mission". It is all a gamble but the missions purpose is to level the playing field for the people of Libya in hopes they'll have a chance in their majority voice to be heard and their wishes implemented.
    It is to counteract the oppressive actions taken by the Libyan government in hopes the people can gain the same freedoms we have. It is about our support for such, NOT for ANY personal gain for the U.S. Of course in reality there may be plenty of other reasons beyond that but that is the main purpose most of us stand for and believe in.
    WE the people WANT to help the Libyan people take out their own oppressive leader if that is their wish. What happens within Libya after the playing field has been equaled is up the Libyan people. NOT US!!!!!! Nor are we responsible for anything that happens after that.
    I have lost all faith in ALL our politicians!!!! BUT......THIS president has done something right for a change by respecting the international community and allowing THEM to to decide what the actions should be. For once we have supported THEM rather than them being given an ultimatum to submit to U.S. demands. That is something I hope we never do again to the world.

    March 21, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    Why didn't Lugar, McCain, and Graham ask the same questions regarding the invasion of Iraq?

    March 21, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. EddyL

    What a jerk. No guidelines for success?? You mean like in Iraq and Afghanistan? The Bush Wars go on and on but I guess these old GOP crocks have already forgotten....

    March 21, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. they call me "tater salad"

    And where was this opportunistic, political, grandstanding a-hole when Bush and Igor Cheney were running wild in Iraq and Afghanistan with NO CLEAR PLAN???.........Seems it wasn't that big of a deal then.........Gee, I wonder why?

    March 21, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    I read what Lugar says and then some of the right wing sheep that post here and I just have to shake my head. The one thing they all have in common is that no matter WHAT the president it's either wrong or not enough. Had he just sat by and did nothing WRONG.......had he gone in right away guns blazing WRONG.......some say he took too long, now others are saying he shouldn't be doing this. This is so pathetic it's gotten comical. Well he must be doing something right because even Farrahkahn is p/oed at him. Well so much for that "Obama is a Muslim-sympathizer" thingy the far right had been pushing, eh?

    March 21, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    Attacks from the LEFT – Attacks from the RIGHT
    Beat 'em up – Beat 'em up – fight, Fight, FIGHT!!
    The RIGHT wanted to know – Just to YES and then "HELL NO"
    The LEFT drags things out – knowing Ghadafi must GO

    Where was all of this griping during the invasion in Iraq??
    The RepubliCAN’Ts ruled that and the DEMS fell through the cracks!!!

    March 21, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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