On Saturday, following the U.N Security Council’s authorization of open-ended military action by member nations, including a no-fly zone, President Obama called on U.S. military strikes in Libya that “will be limited in their nature, duration, and scope in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians. After that we'll take more of a supporting role."
By acting as part of a global coalition and ensuring that no U.S. ground troops would be deployed, Obama has recognized the danger faced by the people of Libya and the importance of an international response to the crisis.
Many Republicans argue that Obama should have been more forceful in his actions and has waited too long in his response. However, we must realize that this is not only a U.S. problem, but also a global issue.
In fact, this is why the United Nations was created in the first place: for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. By providing a platform for dialogue, it is the U.N.’s prerogative to work with the 192 member nations across the globe to resolve the Libyan conflict.
We should not, as President Bush did during the Iraq War, bypass a coordinated response by the international community and place the U.S. in a tougher position. With limited support from our allies and an inability to properly fund a full scale war, the mistakes in Iraq should not be repeated in Libya.
As President Obama has said, we must not deprive the Libyan people of full ownership of their struggle for freedom. Instead, I believe we must work with our global allies to create a stronger, more unified, and more sustainable response that puts the Libyan citizens first.
“Actions have consequences, and the writ of the international community must be enforced,” Obama said. “That is the cause of this coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world.”