Washington, D.C. ¬– U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), John Kerry (D-MA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) today introduced a resolution in support of the U.S. mission and policy in Libya.
“The international military intervention in Libya saved countless of civilians in Benghazi from imminent slaughter, and I commend the men and women of America’s armed forces for the critical role that they are playing in this effort,” said Senator McCain. “I support President Obama’s decision to commit U.S. forces to the mission in Libya, and I hope this resolution will elicit a broad statement of bipartisan support among my Senate colleagues for our use of force in Libya. Congress has a vital role to play in the current debate about the ends and means of U.S. policy in Libya at this critical moment, and I hope this resolution will provide an opportunity to expand that debate.”
“The country is on the strongest footing when the President and Congress speak with one voice on foreign policy matters,” said Chairman Kerry. “I’m pleased to have worked on this resolution with a strong bipartisan coalition and I welcome debate and congressional action on this important issue.”
"This resolution will put the Senate on record in support of our efforts to help the Libyan people liberate themselves from a terrible dictator," said Senator Lieberman. "At a moment when Qaddafi continues to wage war against civilians and our military's contributions remain as critical as ever, this will send a strong and important message that Congress and the White House stand united."
“This resolution appropriately expresses support for the aspirations of the Libyan people; for the President’s wise decision to limit the use of U.S. military force in Libya as part of the NATO mission; for the broader political goal, through non-military means, of achieving a peaceful transition of power to an inclusive government; and calls for regular consultation by the President with Congress,” said Senator Levin.
“This resolution provides the support of the Senate to allow the U.S. and NATO operations to continue that have and will continue to put pressure on the Qaddafi regime,” said Senator Feinstein.
“While I disagree with certain aspects of our current strategy, I support NATO’s operations against the Qaddafi regime,” said Senator Graham. “Our resolution supports the efforts of the President to militarily support NATO operations in Libya.”
“This is an important confirmation of both our commitment to providing support to the NATO mission in Libya and our support for the Libyan people’s desire for political reform,” said Senator Chambliss. “By affirming that the goal of U.S. policy in Libya is to remove Muammar Qaddafi and his family from power, it sends an important, united message.”
Full text below and attached:
112th CONGRESS 1st SESSION
Expressing the sense of the Senate on United States military operations in Libya.
Whereas peaceful demonstrations that began in Libya, inspired by similar movements in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere in the Middle East, quickly spread to cities around the country, calling for greater political reform, opportunity, justice, and the rule of law;
Whereas, Muammar Qaddafi, his sons, and forces loyal to them responded to the peaceful demonstrations by authorizing and initiating violence against civilian non-combatants in Libya, including the use of airpower and foreign mercenaries;
Whereas, on February 25, 2011, President Barack Obama imposed unilateral economic sanctions on and froze the assets of Muammar Qaddafi and his family, as well as the Government of Libya and its agencies, to hold the Qaddafi regime accountable for its continued use of violence against unarmed civilians and its human rights abuses and to safeguard the assets of the people of Libya;
Whereas, on February 26, 2011, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1970, which mandates international economic sanctions and an arms embargo;
Whereas, in response to Qaddafi’s assault on Libyan civilians, a ‘‘no-fly zone’’ in Libya was called for by the Gulf Cooperation Council on March 7, 2011, by the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on March 8, 2011, and by the Arab League on March 12, 2011;
Whereas Qaddafi’s advancing forces, after recapturing cities in eastern Libya that had been liberated by the Libyan opposition, were preparing to attack Benghazi, a city of
700,000 people and the seat of the opposition Government in Libya, the Interim Transitional National Council;
Whereas Qaddafi stated that he would show ‘‘no mercy’’ to his opponents in Benghazi, and that his forces would go ‘‘door to door’’ to find and kill dissidents;
Whereas, on March 17, 2011, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973, which mandates ‘‘all necessary measures’’ to protect civilians in Libya, implement a ‘‘no-fly zone’’, and enforce an arms embargo against the Qaddafi regime;
Whereas President Obama notified key congressional leaders in a meeting at the White House on March 18, 2011, of his intent to begin targeted military operations in Libya;
Whereas the United States Armed Forces, together with coalition partners, launched Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya on March 19, 2011, to protect civilians in Libya from immediate danger and to enforce an arms embargo and a ‘‘no-fly zone’’; and
Whereas, on March 31, 2011, the United States transferred authority for Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya to NATO command, with the mission continuing as Operation Unified Protector: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) supports the aspirations of the Libyan people for political reform and self-government based on democratic and human rights;
(2) commends the service of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and our coalition partners who are engaged in military operations to protect the people of Libya;
(3) supports the limited use of military force by the United States in Libya as part of the NATO mission to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011), as requested by the Transitional National Council, the Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Council;
(4) agrees that the goal of United States policy in Libya, as stated by the President, is to achieve the departure from power of Muammar Qaddafi and his family, including through the use of non-military means, so that a peaceful transition can begin to an inclusive government that ensures freedom, opportunity, and justice for the people of Libya;
(5) affirms that the funds of the Qaddafi regime that have been frozen by the United States should be returned to the Libyan people for their benefit, including humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, and calls for exploring with the Transitional National Council the possibility of using some of such funds to reimburse NATO member countries for expenses incurred in Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Unified Protector; and
(6) calls on the President—
(A) to submit to Congress a description of United States policy objectives in Libya, both
during and after Qaddafi’s rule, and a detailed plan to achieve them; and
(B) to consult regularly with Congress regarding United States efforts in Libya.
SENATORS INTRODUCE RESOLUTION ON THE U.S. MISSION IN LIBYA -
SENATORS INTRODUCE RESOLUTION ON THE U.S. MISSION IN LIBYA