News / Africa

Clinton: US Far From Decision on Libya No-Fly Zone

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a hearing on Capitol Hill, March 2, 2011
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a hearing on Capitol Hill, March 2, 2011

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration is "a long way" from making any decision about whether to take part in a "no-fly zone" operation over Libya.  At the same time, she said situation in Libya has the potential to descend into Somalia-like chaos.  

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says there may well be a role for U.S. and other countries’ military assets in delivering humanitarian assistance to those caught up in or fleeing the Libyan violence.

But reflecting a sense of caution shared by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Clinton is making clear the United States will not be rushed into joining in a no-fly-zone regime in Libya or other military intervention.

Clinton spoke at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing at which committee chairman John Kerry endorsed administration calls for the ouster of besieged Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, and said the United States should be responsive to reported appeals from Libyan rebels for outside air support.

"The people of Libya are not asking for foreign troops on the ground," said Kerry. "They are committed to doing what is necessary.  But they do need the tools to prevent the slaughter of innocents on Libyan streets. And I believe that the global community cannot be on the sidelines while airplanes are allowed to bomb and strafe.  A no-fly-zone is not a long-term proposition, assuming the outcome is what we all desire, and I believe we ought to be ready to implement it as necessary."

Clinton said the administration is working to translate outrage over the behavior of the Gadhafi government into action and results, and takes no options, including military ones off the table.

But she said there is a "great deal of caution" in the U.S. defense community about using military forces for anything other than humanitarian missions in Libya and the administration is a "long way" from a decision about a no-fly-zone.

Questioned by Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin, who said Libyan rebels appear to want outside help, Clinton said the case for such action is by no means clear.

"The tough issues about and whether there would be any intervention to assist those who are opposing Libya is very controversial within Libya and the Arab community," said Clinton. "The Arab League just issued a statement today saying that they disapproved and rejected any foreign interference within Libya on behalf of the opposition, even though they have called for Gadhafi to leave.  So we are working closely with our partners and allies to try to see what we can do, and we are engaged in very active consideration of the different options that are available."

Clinton, in prepared testimony, said Libya could become a peaceful democracy or face protracted civil war.

She said many al-Qaida militants encountered by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan came from Libya, and that one of the United States’ biggest concerns is Libya descending into chaos and, in her words, "becoming a giant Somalia."  

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid