As Odyssey Dawn Launches, House Leaders Seek More Clarity on Objectives

Mar 22, 2011
Defense Drumbeat

Washington, DC - As Coalition forces launch Operation Odyssey Dawn to enforce the United Nations-approved no-fly zone over Libya, the ultimate objective of the operation has been left unclear, according to House Republican leaders.

In a recent New York Times article, Helen Cooper and David Sanger draw attention to House Speaker John Boehner and Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon’s comments that the Administration has still yet to explain what the use of military force will accomplish.  

In the article, Chairman McKeon asked, “Are our goals aimed at protecting civilians in Libya, or the removal of Muammar Qaddafi from power? In either case, to what extent and for how long will military resources be utilized?”

“The president is the commander in chief, but the administration has a responsibility to define for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is, better explain what America’s role is in achieving that mission, and make clear how it will be accomplished,” Speaker John A. Boehner said according to the Times.

The Washington Post also highlighted McKeon’s concern about “the absence of clear political objectives for our country” and the risk of “entrenching the United States in a humanitarian mission whose scope and duration are not known at this point and cannot be controlled by us.” A U.N. resolution, McKeon said, “is not and should not be confused for a political and military strategy.”

As Operation Odyssey Dawn unfolds, McKeon emphasized that the Commander in Chief should not be undermined while US troops are in harm’s way. However, the American people and Congress deserve a detailed explanation of our strategy and objectives in Libya.

112th Congress