In Letter to President Obama, Boehner Seeks Answers to “Fundamental Questions” About Libyan Conflict

Mar 23, 2011 4:50pm

In a letter to President Obama sent today, Speaker of the House John Boehner wrote that he “and many other members of the House of Representatives are troubled that U.S. military resources were committed to war without clearly defining for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is and what America’s role is in achieving that mission.”

Calling the administration’s case made to the American people “limited” and “sometimes contradictory,” Boehner said “fundamental questions about our engagement” are unanswered though the administration has “consulted extensively on these same matters with foreign entities such as the United Nations and the Arab League.”

Said Boehner: “The news yesterday that a U.S. fighter jet involved in this operation crashed is a reminder of the high stakes of any military action abroad and the high price our Nation has paid in blood and treasure to advance the cause of freedom through our history.”

Among the questions for which he seeks answers:

In light of the contradiction between US policy that Gadhafi go, and the UN Security Council resolution that does not seek regime change, "is it an acceptable outcome for Qadhafi to remain in power after the military effort concludes in Libya? If not, how will he be removed from power?  Why would the U.S. commit American resources to enforcing a U.N. resolution that is inconsistent with our stated policy goals and national interests?"

Boehner also asks if we know which coalition partners will be taking the lead in the next phase of the coalition mission and whether "there clear lines of authority and responsibility and a chain of command?"

Is there "an engagement strategy for the opposition forces?  If the strife in Libya becomes a protracted conflict, what are your Administration's objectives for engaging with opposition forces, and what standards must a new regime meet to be recognized by our government?"

Boehner also calls it "regrettable that no opportunity was afforded to consult with Congressional leaders, as was the custom of your predecessors, before your decision as Commander-in-Chief to deploy into combat the men and women of our Armed Forces."

The White House argues that last week the president engaged in a great deal of consultation including a Situation Room meeting with congressional leaders. A Boehner spokesman says that consultation was only done "after the decision was made. After commitments were made to other nations."

You can read a copy of his letter HERE

 -Jake Tapper

 

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