MADRE Articles

Take Action: Tell Congress to Block US Ground Troops from Libya

Posted on: Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Keywords: Libya, Middle East, US Foreign Policy

This action calling for Congress to bar funding for ground troops in Libya, comes to us from Just Foreign Policy.

Michigan Representative John Conyers has put forward an initiative that has a very strong claim to majority support. Conyers plans to introduce an amendment to the next government funding bill - the Continuing Resolution - that would prevent appropriated funds from being used to fund any type of ground troop presence on Libyan territory. Together with Reps. Honda, Stark, and Woolsey, Rep. Conyers is circulating a letter to his colleagues in support of this amendment.

Some will say: this measure is not necessary, because the President has promised not to put U.S. ground troops in Libya, and Defense Secretary Gates has stated his firm opposition. Indeed, it is extremely unlikely that the Administration will try to put ground troops in Libya tomorrow. But there is a saying in Washington: "It's always too early, until it's too late." If we get to the fork in the road where putting ground troops in is a live proposition politically, it may be too late for Congress to stop it. The Administration was publicly against a "no fly zone," before it was in favor of something much more aggressive. That's why it's important to lay down the barrier now.

The passage of such a measure will have immediate, practical, positive effects. There is currently a mismatch between the maximalist political rhetoric of some in the West and what Western publics are willing to put into Libya militarily. By signaling clearly that there is a firm limit to U.S. military involvement, the passage of Conyers' amendment will expand political space for a negotiated resolution to the conflict.

To read more about this action, click here.


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