Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith introduced a resolution designed to set parameters and provide clarity for U.S. involvement in Libya. The resolution would set a timeline of 180 days, restrict the use of ground forces, and require the Administration to reestablish its goals and legal rational for the NATO-led effort in Libya.

Congress has attempted multiple times to weigh in on the operation, but has failed to pass a resolution or communicate a coherent message to the administration. The resolution introduced by Ranking Member Smith today seeks to address the shortfalls of previous attempts and provide a reasonable approach that a majority of the House can support.

“While the administration was justified in taking swift action to head off Qaddafi’s publically stated plans to slaughter thousands of innocent Libyans, it is time for Congress to weigh in and guarantee clarity,” said Ranking Member Adam Smith.  “This resolution strikes the right balance between allowing the administration to support NATO in completing our national security objectives and ensuring that Congress continues to be involved moving forward.”

 Specifically, the resolution would:


  • Authorize the limited use of force in Libya to support United States national security interests as part of the NATO mission to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973, expiring 180 days after enactment of joint resolution;
  • Restricts the presence of United States Armed Forces on the ground unless they are used to rescue United States Government personnel and NATO forces from imminent danger, or to provide humanitarian aid or assistance to the people of Libya;
  • Require the President to communicate frequently with Congress regarding United States efforts in Libya. Communication will include an updated description of United States national security interests in Libya; statement of policy objectives, both during and after Qaddafi’s rule and a detailed plan to achieved them; an updated and detailed assessment of the groups in Libya that are opposed to the Qaddafi regime, including potential successor governments and a full and updated explanation of the President’s legal and constitutional rationale for conducing military operations in Libya consistent with the War Powers Resolution.