President Obama Addresses Nation on Libya

By: CBS
By: CBS

President Obama addressed the nation Monday night, trying to reassure Americans that U.S. involvement in Libya will be limited in time and scope, but on this 10th day of airstrikes, the Commander in Chief did not outline a specific U.S. exit strategy - even with NATO about to take the reins.

President Obama delivered his address to a military audience at the National Defense University in Washington, touting the early success of the mission in Libya.

"A coalition has been forged and countless lives have been saved."

That's the sole mandate of the U.N. resolution - to protect civilian lives threatened by Muammar Qaddafi's regime. The President says the U.S. will continue to be involved in that mission.

"The United States will play a supporting role - including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications."

But the President says the U.S. won't go the way of the Iraq war to get rid of Qaddafi.

"Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake."

President Obama says talks in London Tuesday will focus on what kind of political effort is need to pressure Qaddafi to step down. Ultimately, he said the Libyan people will determine their own destiny.

But the President didn't provide exact answers to some questions lingering in Congress.

“What will be the duration of the noncombat operation and what will be the cost?” asked Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Minority Leader.

Obama said the transfer of command to NATO, set to be completed on Wednesday, will reduce America's risk and cost.

This comes as the opposition in Libya slowly inches westward toward Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte, making advances under coalition air strikes.


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