Target: Libya

By Kristina

Mar 18, 2011 8:06am

Whatever military action takes place against the forces of Col. Moammar Gadhafi will be in keeping with President Obama’s desire that this conflict be seen as a showdown between the Libyan regime and the international community, senior administration officials tell ABC News. This includes not just NATO forces, but conspicuous Arab involvement.

President Obama expects that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will participate, as leaders from those countries have committed to do, officials say. Other Arab countries are considering participation. The Arab League over the weekend endorsed the idea of a no-fly zone, but getting leaders from those countries to go from talk to action is no small task.

“That’s the hope,” one senior administration official told ABC News. “But now they’ve got to move from just talking about it.”

Said another senior official: “It’s not just our hope” that Qatar and the UAE participate. “It’s our expectation.”

President Obama has tried hard not to feed into Gadhafi’s megalomaniacal worldview by making this confrontation him versus Obama, or the US versus Gadhafi, officials say. With US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the president is also sensitive to not have any pending military action be seen as the U.S. invading a third Muslim country.

-Jake Tapper

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