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March 18, 2011

Split White House on Libya

Josh Rogin details how President Obama made the decision for military intervention in Libya at meeting earlier this week described as "extremely contentious."

"Inside the Tuesday evening meeting, senior officials were lined up on both sides. Pushing for military intervention was a group of NSC staffers including Samantha Power, NSC senior director for multilateral engagement; Gayle Smith, NSC senior director for global development; and Mike McFaul, NSC senior director for Russia, who has 30-plus-years of experience advocating for democracy and human rights. Vice President Joe Biden also was a supporter of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, an administration official said."

"On the other side of the ledger were some Obama administration officials who were reportedly wary of the second- and third-degree effects of committing to a lengthy military mission in Libya. These officials included National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was also opposed to attacking Libya and had said as much in several public statements."


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