USA Seeks UN Mandate for Libya Military Action
Obama Administration: No-Fly Zones Not Enough for Libya
As Muammar Gaddafi's forces continue to gain ground on opposition forces, the Obama administration is seeing a virtual blank check from the UN for military strikes within Libya. The US is not, for now, suggesting the deployment of ground troops in Libya.
While Senator Richard Lugar, senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, said that implementing a no-fly zone over Libya would require a declaration of war, the US, Britain and France imposed no-fly zones over Iraq from 1991-2003 with no such declaration. France stopped patrolling those no-fly zones in 1998.
While the UN continues to discuss the issue, Libyan rebels have been taking matters into their own hands to the extent possible, shooting down two of Gaddafi's planes over Benghazi.
In discussions with other U.N. Security Council members, the Obama administration is making the case that a no-fly zone alone would be "insufficient" to save the rebel capital of Benghazi, in eastern Libya.