After returning from a Department of Defense fact-finding trip to Alaska, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon released the following statement on the President’s Monday evening address to the nation regarding military operations in Libya.
“Last night’s speech by our nation’s Commander-in-Chief was long overdue. American and allied militaries commenced operations against Qaddafi’s forces ten days ago. Unfortunately, this is similar to the communications approach the President has utilized for our efforts in Afghanistan. Until last night, it appeared he did not feel it necessary to discuss military operations in Libya with the American people.
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“I still did not hear a clearly-defined goal for how long military operations will last in Libya. 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 Qaddafi will voluntarily leave his country raises serious questions about the duration of the mission.
“Members of the Armed Services Committee will hear directly from senior Administration officials on the current situation and way forward in Libya at an open hearing later this week. That forum, in conjunction with the President’s speech last night and a classified briefing for all Members to be held on Wednesday, will give the Administration plenty of opportunities to answer direct questions and address my concerns and those raised by Speaker Boehner last week.”