National security interests dictate we stay the course in Libya

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America's response is correct: we will hunt down the perpetrators of this heinous crime, for we owe those who were lost that much, and more. I have no doubt that if the means to bring justice to the murderers must be achieved by our own surgical force, we will do so, and must. Meanwhile, arrests are being made; but we must ensure the right perpetrators are being brought to justice and that real justice is done in view of their outrageous acts.

With regard to "more", we must redouble Ambassador Stevens' efforts to aid the Libyan government in gaining its legitimate authority over the extremist militias that are endeavoring to assert an extremist influence in that nation. This is helped with the provision of intelligence and training tools, and with continuing support for the furtherance of a stable and more moderate democracy in Libya, particularly its evolving governmental institutions.

There is more success than not in this political area, such as in the failure of the extremist parties to win many seats based on proportional representation in the General National Congress, as compared to a collection of more moderate and secularist victors. At the same time, the State Department must better assess the security of its overseas posts, with the recognition that there were warnings of violent extremist threats where our consulate was in Benghazi by fact of the earlier attacks in the city on the British Ambassador, and the offices of the United Nations and Red Cross, prior to the murders of our heroes. And Congress must then provide the sufficient resources for the State Department to both perform its mission overseas, and within deserved security measures.

The ultimate outcome of Libya's governance is far from assured. But we must remain at the heart of the matter since our interests are greatly impacted in a region which remains the touchstone for both Islam and energy prices throughout the world, as well as the location of some of our most implacable foes.

Sestak is a former Democratic member of Congress and a retired U.S. Navy vice admiral.