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Five senators push Obama to do more in Libya

- Staff writer

Sen. John McCain (l.) talks with James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (c.) and US Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess (r.), on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 10, before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. (Ann Heisenfelt / AP)

Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona

A former prisoner of war in North Vietnam, Senator McCain says that Obama waited too long to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. As the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain had been urging that move for nearly a month before allied warplanes struck targets in Libya on Saturday.

“Now a no-fly zone is not enough,” he said on CNN’s "State of the Union” on Sunday. “There needs to be other efforts made.” These may include: arming Libyan opposition groups, sharing intelligence on Muammar Qaddafi’s forces, jamming his communications, and knocking out defense systems.

In a floor statement on March 14, McCain dismissed concerns that Washington doesn’t know enough about the Libyan opposition groups to arm them. “That is ridiculous. They have been organized for weeks,” he said.

“A stalemate is a very, very bad outcome here,” he said on an NBC “Today” interview on Tuesday. “American policy is that Qaddafi must go.”


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