Barack Obama on Friday, May 20, sent a letter to U.S. Congress regarding the continuing military operations in Libya. As reported by Associated Press , the head of state in his message stressed that the U.S. involvement in this operation is crucial, and noted that he welcomed the proposal of Congress on this issue.
Obama’s appeal is related to the fact that on May 20 passed 60 days from the date the U.S. officially entered the NATO operations in Libya. According to U.S. law, this is the maximum period during which the president can conduct military operations without congressional approval. “I wish to express my support for the bipartisan resolution … which would confirm that the Congress supports the U.S. mission in Libya and that both branches are united in their commitment,” the president said in a letter to top lawmakers.
“It has always been my view that it is better to take military action, even in limited actions such as this, with Congressional engagement, consultation, and support.”
“This is a narrow U.S. effort that’s intermittent and is principally to support the ongoing NATO-led and U.N. authorized mission,” a White House official said. “The U.S. role is also not only one of support but the kinetic pieces of that effort are intermittent.”
The Senate last month blocked a vote on a proposal by Rand Paul, a first-term Republican senator and a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, to reaffirm the constitutional authority of Congress to declare war.
NATO’s military operations in Libya began in March 2011, shortly after the UN passed a resolution to allow foreign intervention in the conflict between government forces and Libyan guerrillas who are trying to overthrow the country’s leader Muammar Gaddafi . As part of Allied operations that support the insurgents regularly bombed positions of forces loyal to the Libyan dictator.