While the U.N. resolution had provided protection from air attacks on Libyan rebels, the rebel groups have been ineffective in assaulting Gadhafi’s core troops. Early on Saturday, British and French attack helicopters had joined the battle to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power. A clear stretching of the resolution’s purpose of protecting Libyan citizens, it may be re-interpreted to allow the use of ground forces to finish what the U.N. started.
The Obama administration has apparently not committed attack helicopters as it faces bi-partisan opposition to continued participation in the Libyan conflict. Ohio Democrat, Dennis Kucinich presented a resolution to force the withdrawal of American forces from Libya. Amendments to the measure have been added that would prevent the introduction of uniformed ground forces from the United States.
House GOP leadership has gone so far as to present an watered-down alternative. The GOP resolution demands that the administration submit a report to the House to explain why the United States is involved in Libya. It does not force any other action.
The GOP resolution has passed, Kucinich’s has not. The door is still open for President Obama to continue his campaign in Libya and perhaps interpret the U.N. statute to allow ground troops.