“OBL, Awlaki, and Gadhafi Have All Met Their Demise In Some Fashion Because of Decisions the President Made”: Senior White House Official

Asked about whether the death of Gadhafi vindicates his foreign policy, President Obama – at a joint appearance with the Prime Minister of Norway – said “we did what we set out to do in Libya,” and the success of the operation “underscores the capacity of us to work together as an international community.”

Norway contributed to the NATO mission in Libya by providing pilots and humanitarian aid. “Increasingly wherever we have the possibility of working with outstanding partners like Norway I think we’re going to be even more effective,” the president said. “On a whole range of international issues, there is enormous capacity, and we are able to leverage greater resources, more effectiveness, at lower cost when we’re able to work together.”

The president emphasized the internationality of the NATO effort, and that’s part of what a senior White House official tells ABC News is the way Obama looks at foreign policy.

“What we’re demonstrating is you can move to a more targeted use of US force and be more successful in achieving our objectives,” a Senior White House official tells ABC News. This means a “smaller footprint, a more targeted use of force. It means less of a cost to taxpayers and troops, and also clearly results in our ability to take care of our interests.”

“With al Qaeda, we’re going after them in a very targeted way,” the Senior White House official says. “With Libya, we identified the unique capabilities the US has to go after Gadhafi,” and then NATO took the lead. The US role from that point on was to be the “glue” of the operation “keeping the coalition together,” providing “targeting, intelligence, refueling, and command and control.”

“Bin laden, Awlaki, Gadhafi have all met their demise in some fashion because of decisions the president made” utilizing this foreign policy view, the senior administration official said.

Part of this is pursuing foreign policy based on the different aspirations and abilities in different countries. “We’ve clearly learned that democracy is made by the people in these countries,” the senior White House official said. “Libyans marched into Tripoli. They own their future. They don’t expect the US to do it for them.”

-Jake Tapper