McCain fears 'stalemate' in Libya

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday he feared a "stalemate" has developd in Libya that would lead to a more radical government in that country.

McCain, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the U.S. should revive its air attacks to incapacitate forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

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"All we need to do is get sufficient air power in there to really nail Gadhafi's forces, and we can succeed," McCain said on KFYI radio. "A stalemate is a terrible outcome, because if you have a stalemate you open the door for radical Islamists to come in and hijack this revolution."

McCain was an early advocate for establishing a no-fly zone in Libya, even though a number of Republicans have questioned President Obama's decision to involve the U.S. in anti-Gadhafi operations without seeking congressional approval.

The U.S. took a lead role in launching airstrikes against Gadhafi's forces in March, but quickly stepped back to let NATO take the lead. (The U.S. is a central participant in NATO.)

But after nearly a month of strikes intended to drive back Gadhafi's forces and aid opposition groups, the Libyan leader appears no closer to leaving power, driving concerns that he'll only solidify his hold and perhaps violently pursue opponents.

McCain, who emphasized that he, like Obama, would not support sending ground troops into Libya, said the U.S. is relying only on hope at this point to drive Gadhafi from power. The administration has said it will not forcibly remove him.

"Now we are faced with a situation where we hope Gadhafi will fall, but have no strategy," he said. "Hope is not a strategy."


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