GUARDIAN– This week, I am sponsoring legislation in the United States Congress that will end US military involvement in Libya for the following reasons:
First, the war is illegal under the United States constitution and our War Powers Act, because only the US Congress has the authority to declare war and the president has been unable to show that the US faced an imminent threat from Libya. The president even ignored his top legal advisers at the Pentagon and the department of justice who insisted he needed congressional approval before bombing Libya.
Second, the war has reached a stalemate and is unwinnable without the deployment of Nato ground troops, effectively an invasion of Libya. The whole operation was terribly ill-considered from the beginning. While Nato supports the Benghazi-based opposition (situated in the oil-rich north-east), there is little evidence that the opposition has support of the majority of Libyans. The leading opposition group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (which had reportedly been backed by the CIA in the 1980s), should never have launched an armed civil war against the government if they had no chance absent a massive Nato air campaign and the introduction of Nato troops. Their reckless actions, encouraged by western political, military and intelligence interests, created the humanitarian crisis that was then used to justify the Nato war campaign.
Third, the United States cannot afford it. The US cost of the mission is projected to soon reach more than $1bn, and we are already engaged in massive cutbacks of civil services for our own people.
It is not surprising that a majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents alike think the US should not be involved in Libya.
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Written by Dennis Kucinich