Webb on Libya: No clear sense of direction
Virginia Sen. Jim Webb is offering sharp criticism of the handling of the ongoing crisis in Libya that escalated over the weekend with the launch of air strikes against key military installations of the Muammar Qaddafi regime.
Speaking with MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on Monday, Webb, a military veteran and former Secretary of the Navy, focused his criticism of the intervention by Western powers on the lack of “a clear diplomatic policy or a clear statement of foreign policy” accompanying the military operation.
Internal unrest in Libya has been met by the Qaddafi regime with brutal force. Opposition groups have cobbled together a working coalition, but their efforts are tenuous in a country that has been ruled by the unpredictable Qaddafi for more than 40 years.
“We know we don’t like the Gadhafi regime, but we do not have a clear picture of who the opposition movement really is,” Webb said.
“I really don’t believe that we have an obligation to get involved in every single occurrence in that part of the world,” Webb said. “And this issue is of much more economic importance, quite frankly, to Britain and France. Libyan oil, even though it’s only 2% of the world’s output, is a very light oil. It’s much more easily refined and the factories in Europe are not geared up for some of the heavier crude that comes out of Saudi Arabia, for instance. They have much more of an interest in terms of conducting military operations. We don’t have to get involved in every one of these.”
Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.