Obama Cautious About Involving US Military in Libya

Washington (Xinhua): US President Barack Obama said on Friday that military involvement in Libya has risks and consequences and any decisions made must be “well thought through. ”

He told reporters at the White House that “I do take very seriously making sure that any decisions I make that involve U.S. military power are well thought through” and done in “close consultation” with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen and all relevant personnel.

He said: “You know, any time I send United States forces into a potentially hostile situation there are risks involved and there are consequences, and it is my job as president to make sure that we have considered all those risks.”

“It’s also important from a political perspective to, as much as possible, maintain the strong international coalition that we have right now,” he added.

Obama said that by means of sanctions and mobilizing the international community through the United Nations, “across the board we are slowly tightening the noose” on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

“He is more and more isolated internationally both through sanctions as well as an arms embargo,” Obama said at the news conference. “The bottom line is that I have not taken any options off the table at this point.”

He noted that NATO will be meeting on Tuesday to consider the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya, saying that “we’ve been in discussions with both Arab countries as well as African countries to gauge their support for such an action.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with the Libyan opposition in the next several days. “We have determined that it’s appropriate for us to assign a representative whose specific job is to interact with the opposition and determine ways that we can further help them,” Obama explained.

He again called on Gadhafi to leave.


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