United States risks long stay in Libya without well-defined goals

By Pranav Sehgal

Opinions Editor

With wars in Afghanistan and Iraq already, should the United States be involved in Libya?

The ripple effects from the conflict in Libya have dramatically impacted the politics of the region, global oil prices, and have now made many people question the United States’ involvement in Libya.

The coalition effort, primarily led by the United States, to halt the government’s attacks on civilians is drawing a lot of heat from United States politicians and media pundits because as we are already bogged down in two wars in the Middle East and are in a mounting deficit. We spend billions on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet refuse to spend money for important domestic matters such as healthcare or teachers’ pay.

Many are baffled by the fact that in Wisconsin they are firing government workers yet we are spending a great deal of money in our involvement in Libya.

Additionally, many Republicans find it unbelievable that the United States was able to do this without approval from Congress. They are also questioning what interests are at stake in Libya and if it was right to intervene without the support of the American people, or even consulting them for their opinions.

However, top Democrats rallied behind Obama’s decision to support the enforcement of a “no fly” zone in Libya in order to protect innocent civilians. In response to critics, many Democrats have argued that the United States has an interest in protecting people’s freedoms not only in the United States but worldwide and therefore have a responsibility to the Libyan people.

Although I believe the United States has a responsibility to uphold people’s rights on a global basis, I believe that without a clear objective and purpose we will never succeed in Libya. Without a goal or clear mission statement, it will be difficult to assess whether or not our involvement in Libya was beneficial or detrimental to the people of Libya and the United States.

With conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa on the rise, I also believe Arab nations must play a much larger part in quelling the turmoil. They must take responsibility for their region rather than rely in Western Europe and America to clean up the mess.

The United States has long played the role of the global police–but with a high deficit and internal political pressure, it seems unlikely that the United States will be able to keep up that image for much longer.

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