Obama to give address on Libya on Monday

March 26th, 2011 - 12:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Mar. 26 (ANI): Facing increasing pressure from the U.S. Congress to clarify the American military mission in Libya, President Barack Obama will address the nation in a televised speech on the issue on Monday.

According to Politico, Obama is expected to lay out his explanation for the U.S. involvement in Libya.

Obama has been waiting for the U.S. to hand off primary command and combat responsibilities before charting the course forward to the American people, administration officials have said.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that NATO would take the lead on air missions against Libyan forces beginning Saturday, paving the way for Obama to speak to the nation.

Obama’s remarks on Monday are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET - before the primetime TV viewing hours - and will be delivered not from the Oval Office, but at the National Defense University in Washington.

The timing and location reflect Obama’s reluctance to equate what he regards as a smaller, time-limited, United Nations-sanctioned mission in Libya with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In another sign the administration was heeding criticism that it has moved without adequate consultation on Libya, Obama convened a conference call with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders Friday afternoon.

Obama is intent on relegating American forces to a back-seat role. As part of an effort to downplay the scope of U.S. involvement, administration officials have flatly refused to call the action - which featured more than 100 cruise missile strikes and dozens of U.S. aircraft sorties against the regime, but no ground troops - a “war.”

It is “a time-limited, scope-limited military action,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday. (ANI)

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