WASHINGTON Likely presidential contender Mitt Romney today criticized President Obama for not being clearer on the mission in Libya, saying that the United States was entering into a "mission creep" in the war-torn country.
“It is apparent that our military is engaged in much more than enforcing a no-fly zone,” Romney wrote in a blog post on National Review Online. “What we are watching in real time is another example of mission creep and mission muddle.”
“Military action cannot be under-deliberated and ad hoc,” Romney added. “The president owes it to the American people and Congress to immediately explain his new Libya mission and its strategic rationale.”
The posting marks another instance where Romney is trying to enhance his foreign policy credentials by commenting on an emerging foreign conflict.
President Obama said the US last month would join allies in enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya as a way to prevent Moammar Khadafy from slaughtering his own citizens. The strategy has had mixed results, and the White House is now planning to give the opposition leaders up to $25 million in supplies to help protect civilians threatened by Khadafy's forces.
Here is Romney’s complete post:
In a nationally-televised speech on March 28, President Obama defined the American military mission in Libya as humanitarian: We would enforce a no-fly zone to prevent Libyan forces from bombing civilians. I support that specific, limited mission. Last week, the president wrote in an op-ed with his British and French counterparts that “to succeed, Qaddafi must go and go for good.” It is apparent that our military is engaged in much more than enforcing a no-fly zone. What we are watching in real time is another example of mission creep and mission muddle. In an op-ed in today’s Boston Herald, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton rightly notes that Obama has set himself up for “massive strategic failure” by demanding Qaddafi’s ouster “while restricting military force to the limited objective of protecting civilians.” Military action cannot be under-deliberated and ad hoc. The president owes it to the American people and Congress to immediately explain his new Libya mission and its strategic rationale.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.