|Libyan Protesters. Photo Credit: Associated Press|
Sending our brave men and women in uniform into harm's way is not a decision I make lightly. But when someone like Qaddafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region, it is in our national interest to act. In fact, it’s our responsibility.
Our mission in Libya is clear and focused -- and we are succeeding.
Along with our allies and partners, we are enforcing the mandate of the United Nations Security Council. Working with other countries, we have put in place a no-fly zone and other measures that will help prevent further violence and brutality. Qaddafi's air defenses have been taken out, and his forces are no longer advancing across Libya.
As a consequence of our quick action, the lives of countless innocent civilians have been saved, and a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided.
The role of American forces in this mission is limited. After providing unique capabilities at the beginning, we are now handing over control of the no-fly zone to our NATO allies and partners, including Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
The United States has also joined with the international community to deliver urgent humanitarian assistance. We're offering support to the Libyan opposition and have frozen tens of billions of dollars of Qaddafi's assets.
Our message to Qaddafi is clear: attacks against innocent civilians must end, his forces must be pulled back, humanitarian aid must reach Libyans in need, and those responsible for the violence in Libya must be held accountable.
The progress we've made over the past seven days demonstrates how the international community should work, with many nations, not just the United States, bearing the responsibility and cost of upholding international law.
Every American can be proud of the service of our men and women in uniform who have once again stood up for our interests and ideals. And as we move forward, I will continue to keep each of you fully informed on our progress.
President of the United States
P.S. On Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. EDT, I will deliver an address at the National Defense University in Washington, DC on the situation in Libya.