Argument: US gave full command in Libya to NATO on April 1
- Debate: US and NATO intervention in Libya - con argument.
Obama Administration letter to Congress justifying Libya engagement, June 15th, 2011: "At the onset of military operations, the United States leveraged its unique military capabilities to halt the regime’s offensive actions and degrade its air defense systems before turning over full command and control responsibility to a NATO-led coalition on March 31. Since that time: Three-quarters of the over 10,000 sorties flown in Libya have now been by non-U.S. coalition partners, a share that has increased over time. All 20 ships enforcing the arms embargo are European or Canadian. The overwhelming majority of strike sorties are now being flown by our European allies while American strikes are limited to the suppression of enemy air defense and occasional strikes by unmanned Predator UAVs against a specific set of targets, all within the UN authorization, in order to minimize collateral damage in urban areas. The United States provides nearly 70 percent of the coalition’s intelligence capabilities and a majority of its refueling assets, enabling coalition aircraft to stay in the air longer and undertake more strikes."
Text of Obama's Speech On Libya: "A Responsibility To Act." NPR.org. March 28th, 2011: "we've accomplished these objectives consistent with the pledge that I made to the American people at the outset of our military operations. I said that America's role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners. Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge.
Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and the no-fly zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday. Going forward, the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Gadhafi's remaining forces.
In that effort, the United States will play a supporting role — including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications. Because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation — to our military and to American taxpayers — will be reduced significantly."