Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) voiced his support Monday for a forceful but limited military U.S. involvement in Libya.
In a press statement, Durbin praised President Obama's decision to join in the multinational effort to uphold a United Nations ceasefire resolution while keeping U.S. involvement limited.
“For decades, Moammar Qaddafi, Libya’s ruthless and brutal dictator, has oppressed his people and supported international terrorism. Since the uprising three weeks ago, he’s been slaughtering the Libyan people and is threatening more,” Durbin said in the statement. “I also agree with President Obama; no US ground forces should be used in this operation and it must remain limited in scope and duration.”
After the United Nations Security Council passed a no-fly zone resolution on Friday to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's military, both Democratic and Republican lawmakers criticized Obama for engaging the U.S. in another Middle Eastern conflict without an exit plan or clear mission statement. Lawmakers also argued that Obama failed to sufficiently consult with Congress prior to American airstrikes of Libyan military targets.
On Monday the president defended the American airstrikes and the U.S.'s early lead in enforcing the no-fly zone resolution. He said that even though the U.S. has taken point so far in enforcing the no-fly resolution, other nations would soon take a more central role.
Like Durbin, other legislators voiced their support for American action in Libya. In a statement to The Hill, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) praised the U.S.'s involvement in Libya thus far.
"The President has been clear, this is a limited action in coordination with a broad coalition of allies, including those in the Arab world, who have asked for help in protecting civilians," Gillibrand said. "I will continue to closely monitor our mission in Libya.”