March 24, 2011

Obama Criticised For US Military Intervention In Libya

US President Barack Obama faces opposition from right and left wing political groups over his decision of US military intervention in the Libya crisis; some saying that the President should have sought the approval of Congress.

After finishing off his Latin American trip, President Obama is returning to Washington to be greeted by predictable opposition on the left.

However, some Republicans also disagreed with the airstrikes, joining some of their Democrat colleagues in accusing President Obama of having acted unconstitutionally, by not seeking approval in Congress.

Opinion polls suggest the majority of Americans support the President on the grounds of protecting Libyans.

Secretary Hilary Clinton says the airstrikes have already protected hundreds of thousands of Libyans in Benghazi.

"I know that the nightly news cannot cover a humanitarian crisis that thankfully did not happen. But it is important to remember that many, many Libyans are safer today because the international community took action, said Secretary Clinton.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who expressed caution about military intervention before the decision was taken says the outcome is uncertain.

"I think there are any number of possible outcomes here and no one's in a position to predict them. Whether there are further major defections within his (Gaddafi's) own ruling circle, whether there are divisions within his family, there are a variety of possibilities it seems to me," said Mr Gates.

America's notable reticence is based on the hard lesson learnt in Iraq, according to analyst Mr Daniel Kliman.

"We don't want to be left holding the bag for an intervention again. We need partners with capability. So to me the reticence on the part of the Department of Defense makes a lot of sense because they are the ones, at the end of the day, who have to do most of the heavy lifting," said Mr Kliman.