Top Republican amps up Libya criticism
March 21st, 2011
04:02 PM ET
10 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. jules sand-perkins

    The bottom line is that Obama has confounded Republicans' criticism of his military weakness by being not only militarily strong but also brilliant because of his alliance with other world leaders and because he is "not going after Gadhafi."
    Does it smart much, my fellow Republicans? He's just a weak Democrat, you know.
    How dare he be so strong?

    March 21, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh, Lugar, quit blowing smoke . . . and take your complaints to the U.N. As it is, there have been NO guidelines for success in any war we have participated in save perhaps the Civil War. Certainly not in the past twenty years or so.

    March 21, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Dirk Wladon

    All the republicans can go on an early Easter egg hunt. Plus, they need to set on those eggs 'til they, (the eggs), hatch out. Why are they such slugs?

    March 21, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. John in Brooklyn

    While I deeply respect Senator Lugar, the parallel to to first Gulf war in 1991 is simply not appropriate. The US received financial support primarilly from Kuwait, which had been actively invaded by Iraq in 1991. In contrast, the Libyan conflict is entirely an internal conflict. Who, exactly, would be responsible for ponying up the cash for the people of Libya?

    March 21, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. John

    If these steps were taken leading up to Iraq we would not be "getting into another war"... BTW.... We are not!

    March 21, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. AEK

    Republican hypocrites all! Seems as long as they are starting stuff all over the world it's okay. Well, at least until it starts to go bad or their corporate sponsors have stolen all the money there is to be stolen.

    March 21, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Ellen

    I'm 63, a US citizen, an independent voter. I've followed US politics and voted for decades. I remember when Republicans and Democrats co-existed respectfully even though they differed on many things. They felt we were all in the same boat together. Unfortunately, I've concluded today that conservative–not moderate or classic–Republicans today are ... well, I'll just come out and say it, stupid and selfish. Childish not childlike. All to the detriment of the common good of the US.

    March 21, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Indiana Republicans are pretty clueless folks. All those Klan roots...

    March 21, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Denker

    I wonder where the guidelines for success were in Iraq and if Mr. Luger was critical of those.

    March 21, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. w l jones

    All those for naught a lot of people but few take time look at both side of...........

    March 21, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't mind the air strikes. It is when there are troops on the ground (and only ours) that I have a problem with it.

    March 21, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Kain

    Despite the inevitable complaints of "This is a joke coming from a Repub!" this sounds like a valid objection. The nature of the messenger aside, we do have to curtail spending and costs. I personally would have liked to have had an 'address the nation' kind of speech to explain why we are doing this, what the real goal is, and how we stop and leave when it is time.

    Perhaps that is forthcoming, but for now this was not well played by the administration.

    March 21, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. 60s survivor

    I'll give you a guideline for success you moron. "butt out". it's all no go with you guys. the republicants have supported the president. not one iota. they make me sick.

    March 21, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This is what happens when we have people in Washington who don't know or haven't read the U.S. Constiution or what it means to be a member of the United Nations. Must the President sit down with these men like a Kindergarten class to teach these men things they should know. You'd think Boehner could teach them but it appears he's lacking too.

    March 21, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Buckthorn

    Well gee, wouldn't the same comment apply to Afghanistan? And Lugar has supported *that* war.

    "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,"

    March 21, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Bankruptcy

    Guides for success??? Are you joking Lugar?! If he wanted regime change he would have acted when the rebels had the momentum and not when they were on the verge of being slaughtered. Obama's incompetent dithering just got us into a protracted Libyan civil war stalemate. WHAT AN IDIOT!!!

    March 21, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. lynn

    Damned if he doesn't and damned if he does. The Republicans are nothing but a pack of jackels waiting to pounce on anything the President or anyone in his administration does. What about GWB who invaded Iraq, promising to catch bin Laden. Jokes, every one of them.

    March 21, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. T'sah from Virginia

    Please LUGAR – the number one success is Ghadafi NOT being able to slaughter his people.... PERIOD!!! The RepubliCAN'Ts just want it to be MORE than that – they want troops on the ground – they want Ghadafi, WANTED – DEAD OR ALIVE!!!

    AND, all of a sudden NOW, the RepubliCAN'Ts want to "...find in fact some curtailment of our military budget in addition to the so-called spending that we do...!" Now the military BUDGET is worth cutting now whereas before – HELL NO WE WON'T!!!

    When President Obama was doing NOTHING – he should be doing SOMETHING!! When he does SOMETHING – he should not be doing ANYTHING!!! The problem is it's NOT a RepubliCAN'T president coming up with the solutions; therefore, the solutions are NOT RIGHT!! In addition, the MAIN PROBLEM is President Obama just might earn that Nobel Peace Prize the RIGHT claimed he did not deserve and had a fit about!!!

    March 21, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Steve, New York City

    Senator Lugar is 100% CORRECT!!!
    Thanks to the Neocons (who were masters at frightening the dull-witted with stories about Saddam's flying insect bomb plane), the US government is near-bankrupt because of the massive stupidity behind our Iraq invasion. It grieves me that (yet again), we are blindly inserting ourselves into another Arab tribal war. Will probably be a great recruiting tool for Al Quaida.

    March 21, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. seriously???

    Really Lugar, you don't know the mission?? How is that possible when everything I've read it's completely and entirely spelled out? You must not understand the English language.

    March 21, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. shadysider

    Not clearly Iraq? Every time they defined that escapade they were wrong. Why should Obama do so now? Why let the enemy know what we are doing? Where is the Republican Mantra of 'Don't Question Our Leader Under War Circumstances, you COmmies!!!!????1!!!!"

    March 21, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Lugar is a top republican? Just what qualities make up a republican? Is it the unfunded tax cuts, tax breaks for big corporations, big oil, and a pronounced hate for: police, firemen, teachers, nurses, government workers, unemployed, veterans, seniors, hispanics, muslims, the current constitution, social security, medicare, VA, and all government agencies.

    March 21, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Although I was not briefed in DC, I thought our role was one of support for the coalition, without making a commitment to ground troops. It ends when Libya stops killing citizens. Lugar was a Iraq hawk, and that mission is still to be defined.

    March 21, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Be_O_Be

    Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana said the operation has not been clearly defined.

    And the other two military involvements are clearly defined? First your mad because we're not in Libya then your mad cause we are. Pick one side of the fence or the other and stand your ground or shut the h*ll up.

    March 21, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. OH YEAH?

    The repubs are upset because action was taken without allowing them to appoint a committee to study the situation for years, then say no.

    March 21, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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