House Bars Ground Troops in Libya

The House of Representatives has voted 416-5 for a resolution prohibiting President Obama from sending ground troops to Libya

The House of Representatives has voted 416-5 for a resolution prohibiting President Obama from sending ground troops to Libya.

AP (“House bars US ground forces in Libya“):

The House has overwhelmingly backed a measure barring any taxpayer dollars for U.S. ground forces in Libya.

On a vote of 416-5, the House backed the measure which also applies to private security contractors. The lone exception to the measure would be to rescue a member of the U.S. forces in Libya. The measure is part of a larger House defense bill that also needs Senate approval.

Lawmakers have complained that President Barack Obama has ignored the 1972 War Powers Resolution, failing to seek congressional authorization for the U.S. military operation in Libya.

Obama recently said the U.S. involvement is limited in the NATO-led operation. Obama also has said he would not send ground forces to Libya.

Presuming the Senate goes along with this, a very interesting move. They absolutely have the right to do this under WPA (which was passed in 1973, not 1972) although there are ways that the president can get around this.

More likely than not, he wasn’t going to do this anyway, given his promises on the matter and the fact that the Europeans have more incentive to act. Still, having gone to war in Libya and declaring that Gaddafi’s ouster is the only acceptable solution, a modest ground operation would seem the obvious endgame.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Military Affairs, Quick Takes, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    Well, at least Congress has remembered they do have some role in our military adventures. It’s a step in the right direction, even if it doesn’t mean all that much.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Gaddafi’s foreign minister is in Spain begging for a cease fire to be internationally monitored followed by open dialog ending in a new constitution. That doesn’t sound as if Gaddafi is very confident. We’re not going to need ground troops, and if Obama thought we would he’d have been able to turn a lot more than 5 votes.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    Correction, Libya’s Prime Minister, not Foreign Minister.

  4. john personna says:

    This does not surprise me in the least. In fact, I already called it in these pages, putting ground troops outside the realm of possibility, given public sentiment.

  5. john personna says:

    Still, having gone to war in Libya and declaring that Gaddafi’s ouster is the only acceptable solution, a modest ground operation would seem the obvious endgame.

    I think son(*), you are suffering the confirmation bias.

    * – I’m not really that old, little brother.

  6. James Joyner says:

    @john personna: Oh, I thought Libya was a bad idea. But, if regime change is your goal–and it’s not mine–then some commandos with guns would seem the most expeditious route to achieving it.

  7. john personna says:

    That’s what I meant by confirmation – a few of us argued that regime change was not a genuine US goal. We put “supporting allies ” at #1

  8. Can someone tell me why Steve King (Iowa) and Jim Moran both voted against the amendment?