Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) “arrived Friday in the Libyan opposition stronghold of Benghazi,” the AP reports.
“They are my heroes,” McCain said of the rebels as he walked out of a local hotel in Benghazi. He was traveling in an armored Mercedes jeep and had a security detail. A few Libyans waved American flags as his vehicle drove past.
He said he planned to meet with the rebel National Transition Council, the de-facto government in the eastern half of the country, and members of the rebel military.
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) believes “the United States should get out of the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya as soon as possible,” the Charleston Gazette reports.
During a visit to the Gazette on Tuesday, Rockefeller also criticized the way military appropriations are often approved as part of "supplementary" budget legislation, hiding them from the public.
"The military budget needs to come under new scrutiny. When I voted for the Iraq War, it was one of the worst votes in my life," Rockefeller said.
"Today, I have grave misgivings about being in Iraq for another week. We should be out of Iraq this year altogether," he said. "We are not going to win. It is not in the cards. Many Asian countries have a totally tribal culture.
"It is the same thing in Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen," Rockefeller said.
"I didn’t object to four days of bombing in Libya. But now the CIA is on the ground. That makes me nervous. I don’t have any patience with the Libyan endeavor," Rockefeller said.
"Libya makes no sense to me. I don’t think we should be there at all. We should get out of there and we should get out of Afghanistan. We can’t win there. We can’t change the country….
"Do you want three failed wars in a row? I don’t want to be in those places. And it has a great deal to do with the [federal] budget."
Rockefeller is a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) “said Monday he feared a ‘stalemate’ has developed in Libya that would lead to a more radical government in that country,” The Hill reports.
He “said the U.S. should revive its air attacks to incapacitate forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.”
"All we need to do is get sufficient air power in there to really nail Gadhafi’s forces, and we can succeed," McCain said on KFYI radio. "A stalemate is a terrible outcome, because if you have a stalemate you open the door for radical Islamists to come in and hijack this revolution."
McCain says the “U.S. is relying only on hope at this point to drive Gadhafi from power.” He still opposes sending in American ground troops.
"Now we are faced with a situation where we hope Gadhafi will fall, but have no strategy," he said. "Hope is not a strategy."
Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) “said Thursday evening that he and a group of negotiators have ‘nailed down’ language on a Libya resolution and are waiting for instructions from leadership on how to proceed,” POLITICO reports.
The measure would serve as a symbolic gesture of support for President Barack Obama’s use of military force in the North African country. Under the War Powers Act, Congress must authorize continued military presence in Libya after a May deadline if American troops are still active there, but it’s unclear if the Senate needs to act.
“We pretty well got the resolution nailed down and now we’re discussing with the leaders whether we need the vote and if so, when,” McCain told a small group of reporters.
McCain’s office confirmed that the current language is a “sense of the Senate” resolution, meaning it would not carry the force of an authorizing measure. Given that Unites States has handed off power to NATO, the White House has argued that congressional authorization would not be required.
With the situation “in Libya in flux, however, it’s likely that the resolution could change by the time Congress returns after Easter.”
Both leadership offices said they would monitor engagement in the Muslim nation and the potential need for a resolution over the break.
“Obviously, the language will reflect changes in the situation,” an aide to McCain said.
Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) introduced a resolution today that would “declare that the United States has no vital interest in Libya,” according to a press release.
The resolution does three things: declares that there is no vital U.S.-American interest in Libya; states that Congress has not authorized military power in the region; declares that the NATO allies and Arab nations that do have a vital interest in the region should step up their military and financial contributions. Passage of this resolution by the Senate would express its disapproval of the handling of this intervention and serve as a warning against deeper military involvement in a conflict that does not affect our vital interests.