Third District Congressman John Yarmuth says he has a number of questions about the ongoing military action in Libya, and many of them stem from what he calls a lack of clarity from the White House. (For the national perspective on this topic, listen to this NPR report.)
Yarmuth agrees with President Barack Obama that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi should not be in power. But he says the president should’ve been more open with congress before launching military strikes to enforce a no-fly zone.
Yarmuth has been a vocal critic of the war in Iraq. He says the situation in Libya doesn’t compare.
“But it’s not over,” he says. “When you start moving from enforcing a no-fly zone to actually bombing buildings in the compound of Gadhafi that raises questions about what the true mission is.”
Yarmuth is also worried military leaders won’t stick to their timeline to end the strikes.
“I don’t think there’s any question that members of both sides of the aisle are a little bit confused as to exactly what our objective and what our measurements for success are,” he says. “There is potential for prolonged involvement. I don’t think the American people support that, I don’t think they’d be ready for it, I don’t think the congress would be willing to pay for it or endorse it. I think that’s why we need a clear picture of why we’re there, how long we’re going to be there.”
Yarmuth says despite the backing of many European and Middle Eastern countries, it looks like the U.S. is leading the military action, and that’s a cause for concern. Further, he’s wary that the impending NATO-led humanitarian mission won’t go as planned.
Republican Congressman Todd Young of southern Indiana is also critical of the military action in Libya. He raised several concerns in a statement posted on Facebook, but was not available for comment.