Washington, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today announced Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen will appear before the committee on Thursday to testify on military operations in Libya. The hearing will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in 2118 Rayburn House Office Building.
On Monday night, the President provided the nation an update on operations in Libya and announced that the military mission will be transferred from the United States to NATO this week.
Reacting to the President’s address, McKeon raised 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.”
At tomorrow’s hearing, members of the House Armed Services Committee will have an opportunity to hear directly from the Pentagon’s top civilian and military leaders on these concerns and have specific questions answered about the duration, cost and long-term objectives of the mission.