Libya: Republicans Divided on the Extent of U.S. Involvement in Oil-Rich Country's War


After providing the overwhelming number of missile and air strikes inside Libya when coalition attacks first began, the United States quickly transferred the lead to NATO and has limited its involvement to a support role with surveillance and refueling aircraft, although it has kept up some bombing runs on Gadhafi's remaining air-defense assets.

In a meeting on the sidelines of a NATO conference in Berlin Thursday, France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe appealed directly to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but was unable to secure a firm commitment. "I think they will continue along the same lines," Juppe said of the United States, "which is to say punctual interventions when it is necessary and where the means they have are particularly useful."

With lawmakers in the House and Senate leaving Washington today for a two-week Passover and Easter break, that debate might be eclipsed by events by the time they return to Capitol Hill in early May. And it is unlikely to occur even then. In addition, McCain's resolution and Ensign and Hutchison's resolution are non-binding, so the administration would not have to abide by either one if they passed.

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