2 ½ Years Later: Obama Says Libya Still Needs ‘Basic Security’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | October 18, 2013 | 11:43am EDT

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi at the G-8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, on July 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Michael Gottschalk)

(CNSNews.com) - More than two and a half years after President Barack Obama delivered a speech in Brasilia, Brazil, to reveal that he had unilaterally ordered the U.S. military to intervene in Libya’s civil war in order “to protect Libyan civilians” and enforce “the writ of the international community,” Obama says Libya still needs “a representative and inclusive government” that can provide its people with “basic security.”

“Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians,” Obama said in his March 19, 2011 speech in Brasilia. “That action has now begun.”

“The writ of the international community must be enforced,” Obama said. “That is the cause of this coalition."

"As a part of this effort, the United States will contribute our unique capabilities at the front end of the mission to protect Libyan civilians, and enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone that will be led by our international partners,” Obama said.

"We will not--I repeat--we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground,” he said.

Obama did not seek authorization from Congress before ordering the U.S. military into action in this foreign civil war.

Seven months after Obama ordered the U.S. military to intervene on the side of the Libyan rebels, a groups of those rebels captured and killed Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Eighteen months after Obama ordered the Libyan intervention, an al Qaeda-linked militia led terrorist attacks on the U.S. State Department and CIA compounds in Benghazi, killing four Americans, including Amb. Chris Stevens.

Meeting with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta at the White House on Thursday, Obama gave a fleeting assessment of the Libyan situation as it stands today.

“There’s enormous potential and hope for the Libyan people, but what they need now is a government that is representative and inclusive, and can provide the basic security as well as the basic services that will help the Libyan people achieve that potential,” said Obama. “And I think that we both share an interest in finding ways in which we can help the Libyans move forward.”

The State Department currently warns Americans to stay out of Libya because of the instability and violence there.

“The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Libya and strongly advises against all but essential travel to Tripoli and all travel to Benghazi, Bani Walid, and southern Libya, including border areas and the regions of Sabha and Kufra,” says the deparment’s current travel warning. “Because of ongoing instability and violence, the Department’s ability to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in these regions of Libya is extremely limited.”

“The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable,” says the department. “Sporadic episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country.”

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