US cannot afford war in Libya


When Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, he did so on the wildly popular promise that he would bring the United States "change we can believe in." It is especially eerie to note that, on March 19, Obama announced his decision to send American military forces to intervene in Libya — former President George W. Bush announced his decision to send military forces to Afghanistan exactly eight years earlier. In an ideal world, a military intervention in Libya would be a great idea. Muammar Gaddafi's violent attacks on Libyan protestors are unacceptable and his reign needs to end. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. The United States is facing serious problems within its own borders — problems that our president needs to address before he starts expending more money and manpower in yet another war-torn nation.

The fact of the matter is that getting our nation's military tangled up in the Libyan revolution could have some seriously terrible repercussions for the United States, and this country just cannot afford such repercussions at this time. Look at what happened once the United States mounted attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan under Bush. The nation ended up spending trillions of dollars, losing thousands of lives, and we are still tied up in both of those nations. Getting involved in Libya means our nation could be in for more of the same. Given the United States' current economic and political climate, Libya is just not something we can put too many resources in at this moment.

Obama claims that "we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground," but how can we know that for sure? That may not be his plan as of now, but there are no guarantees that it will not come to that. Surely, Bush was not planning on staying in Iraq and Afghanistan for as long as our nation has. Wars often do not go as they are initially planned — that is, if it is possible for them to ever go as planned. It is virtually impossible for anyone to foresee all of the consequences of military intervention.

We applaud Obama's desire to help the Libyan people in their struggle. The United States should do all that it can to support the overthrow of Gaddafi. That being said, sending the military in is not a smart idea right now. Aren't there other ways for Obama to aid the people of Libya without potentially damaging our country? At this point, the United States has had about all it can take.


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