On Wednesday, the Armed Services Committee will hear from the leaders of SOUTHCOM, NORTHCOM, and EUCOM for their respective budget requests.
Of special interest will be the testimony of Admiral James G. Stavridis, who in addition to being Commander of U.S. European Command is the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR). As you know, the military operations in Libya are currently led by the United States but will soon be transferred to NATO. President Obama specified in his address to the nation last night that this “transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday,” including “enforcing the No Fly Zone and protecting civilians on the ground....”
Reacting to the President’s address, Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon brought up several concerns, including the lack of “a clearly-defined goal for how long military operations will last in Libya.”
McKeon also noted the political reality that “utilizing U.S. warriors to protect civilians from a brutal dictator is a noble cause, but asking them to maintain a stalemate while we hold-out hope that [Moammar] Qaddafi will voluntarily leave his country raises serious questions about the duration of the mission.”
Armed Services Committee members will have the opportunity to address these questions Wednesday at the hearing, as well as on Thursday for the “Operation Odyssey Dawn and U.S. Military Operations in Libya” hearing.