As civil unrest unfolds in Northern Africa, the United States doesn’t have to think twice about whether or not it should get involved. Right now, the people of Libya are in the act of carrying out a full blown revolution in an attempt to overthrow their dictatorial government. In the process of these events, the government of Libya is failing to step down, and has shown its willingness to fight back. Considering some form of fighting is going to occur in Libya until its people and government settle their differences, the United States government has felt the need to once again act as the policemen of the world and intervene.
On Monday, the Pentagon announced it had begun to move warships and carriers closer to Libya in the Mediterranean Sea. Pentagon officials reported that this move was made in order to have closer access to Libya in case the US decides to pursue military action to help aid the revolution. The excuse the US is using for potential military involvement is that they want to liberate the people of Libya from their oppressive dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, who is responsible for turning the Libyan military on its citizens. Does this situation sound familiar?
When the Bush administration officially decided to intervene militarily in Iraq in 2003, they publicly stated many different excuses for attacking the nation, including the fear of weapons of mass destruction and a harboring ground for Al Qaeda. However, one of most commonly used excuses by the Bush administration for illegally attacking Iraq was to free its people from Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, calling the war “Operation Iraqi Freedom”. Although the US military removed Saddam’s regime from power after only a couple weeks of military action, we continue to have troops in Iraq 8 years later with a few trillion dollars wasted, 4,400 US troops killed, and no true end in sight.
Putting recent historical facts into consideration, the US should not get involved in aiding Libya’s revolution. It is more than understandable that people all around the world should be outraged with Gaddafi’s actions in attacking his own citizens who are in opposition to his rule, but the reality of the situation is that outside involvement will only make problems worse than they already are. Not only will US military involvement make problems worse for both Libya and America in the long run, it will be illegal for the US government to take any military action unless it is officially voted on and declared a war by the US Congress. Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution states that Congress must be the first to take any sort of action in declaring war and using military action. Nowhere in the Constitution does it give the executive branch or Pentagon the authority to send troops into a foreign nation (the way the Bush administration did with Iraq) as the Obama administration appears to be considering. The more the US intervenes militarily in other nations such as Libya, the more it will cost the American taxpayer, lives of innocent civilians, and our respect around the world.