President Obama to give speech on controversial Libyan intervention
Many experts have criticized President Obama for taking part in the Libyan conflict without a clear agenda. Tonight, he is expected to address these issues to a national television audience. So far, he has touched on the issue and highlighted the importance of protecting the Libyan populace from the violent measures of repression being used by the country's dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
"I firmly believe that when innocent people are being brutalized; when someone like Qaddafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region… when the international community is prepared to come together to save many thousands of lives-then it's in our national interest to act," Obama said.
Still, critics on the right have said that Obama hasn't involved American forces with the proper conduct, while some on the left are outraged that he decided to enter the conflict at all.
Others, such as Republican representative Duncan Hunter of California, a Marine captain who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, have defended the President.
"I agree with the president. I agree with what he's done so far in his use of force. I agree with his timing. I agree on the fact that he went in with a coalition," he told The Hill.
But Hunter is in the minority. Many feel that deploying troops to Libya – and ignoring countries such as Bahrain and Yemen, where the government continues to violently suppress protesters – represents an inconsistent foreign policy.
Additionally, conservatives are targeting the expense of the war when the United States is struggling with a national debt. Liberals have responded by pointing out that there was no such debate when President Bush went to war in Iraq without an clear outline or a concern for the price of the conflict.
USA Today reports there are several topics that Obama is expected to cover in the upcoming speech – the Allied troops are making progress, the intervention has international support, there will be no American forces on the ground, America helped prevent a massacre and is reducing its military role.