Foreign Policy Experts Urge President to Take Action to Halt Violence in Libya

March 15, 2011

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The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC  

March 15, 2011

Dear President Obama:

Regrettably, the international community has yet to take serious action to prevent a moral and humanitarian catastrophe in Libya and the Libyan opposition is now on the defensive.  As forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi push eastward, we are concerned that the brutal and indiscriminate tactics of government forces could lead to additional civilian casualties. 

On Saturday, the Arab League endorsed Libyan opposition calls for a no fly zone.  We call on you to urgently institute a no fly zone over key Libyan cities and towns in conjunction with U.S. allies.  We also call on you to explore the option of targeted strikes against regime assets in an effort to prevent further bloodshed.  The United States should also immediately recognize the Libyan National Transitional Council and take all necessary actions to support their efforts to unseat the Qaddafi regime.

In your inaugural address two years ago, you said this: "And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born:  Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more."

Today the United States and its allies should stand with the men, women and children of Libya who seek a future of peace and dignity.  The situation in Libya in the coming days will not just impact the Libyan people.  As protests continue against repressive regimes around the world, the message currently being conveyed by our inaction is that killing and repression will go unpunished and are the best option for despots seeking to postpone reform. 

For the sake of our security as well as America’s credibility with people who seek freedom everywhere, we ask you to act as quickly as possible to ensure that the people of Libya – and the world – know that we are willing to back up our principles with action.


Fouad Ajami Ash Jain Randy Scheunemann

Stephen E. Biegun Ken Jensen Gary J. Schmitt

Max Boot Robert Kagan Dan Senor

Ellen Bork Lawrence Kaplan Henry Sokolski

Paul Bremer David Kramer Whit Stillman

Scott Carpenter  Irina Krasovskaya  William Taft

Elizabeth Cheney William Kristol Marc Thiessen

Eliot Cohen Tod Lindberg Daniel Twining

Seth Cropsey Michael Makovsky Kurt Volker

Thomas Donnelly Ann Marlowe Peter Wehner

Michele Dunne Cliff May Ken Weinstein

Eric Edelman Joshua Muravchik Leon Wieseltier

Jamie Fly Michael O'Hanlon Rich Williamson

Reuel Marc Gerecht  Martin Peretz Damon Wilson

William Inboden Danielle Pletka

Bruce Pitcairn Jackson John Podhoretz  

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