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Troops Re-Positioned to Provide Options on Libya

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2011 – The United States military “is in the planning and preparing mode” on Libya, and will be able to provide the full range of options for national leaders, Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan said here today.

The U.S. military is moving naval and air forces to the region, he said.

President Barack Obama asked the military to prepare these options as the situation in Libya gets worse. News reports indicate while Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi is attacking rebels in and around the capital of Tripoli, anti-regime forces hold the east.

In a Feb. 26 call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama said: “When a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now,” according to the White House.

The Defense Department has not been directly tasked for any mission, Lapan said.

“We have planners working various contingency plans,” he said. “It’s safe to say as a part of that, we’re re-positioning forces to provide for that flexibility. We are re-positioning forces in the region to provide options and flexibility.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also urged Gadhafi to stop killing his own people and leave. She also said the United States government has been reaching out to Libyan rebels.

“We’ve been reaching out to many different Libyans who are attempting to organize in the east and as the revolution moves westward, there as well,” Clinton said at Andrews Air Force Base yesterday. “I think it’s way too soon to tell how this is going to play out, but we’re going to be ready and prepared to offer any kind of assistance that anyone wishes to have from the United States.”

Lapan ruled nothing out. “Again, it goes back to having a full range of options available,” he said. “So those forces could be used in any number of ways. Re-positioning them provides that flexibility so they can be used if needed.”


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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

3/17/2011 10:53:42 PM
We need to be supportive of commanders and Commander in Chief in stopping the killing of innocent and non combatants in Libya. The Current Libya regime are terrorists and need to be removed by force .
- Eric Dotten REMt-P, Ncee, 91W USAR, US Fl

3/3/2011 12:25:42 PM
I think it would be unwise to assume that the Libyan's want assistance from the US, I guess we can thank Hillary for letting us know that the CIA is already working on a plan from the inside out...just a subtle hint that once again war is impending. I bet it all goes off in about 36 hours....just saying look at the traffic and docs and the military black out on the subject. Oporation Libyan Oil is already underway.
- k. leibel, Canada

3/1/2011 4:50:13 AM
It is very good action to put Gaddafi’s regime under pressure by using the military forces, he now will think twice before giving any order for his army to attack Libyans. I believe on closing Libyan air, that’s could put his air force in the corner, I don’t think that American Admin. want to equipped Libya because they know that Libyans have no problem with Americans, so as Gaddafi step down the relationship between the US and Libya will be stronger than before. Putting Gaddafi under force fear will safe Libyan people, and stop blood in the country.
- Nuradden M. Sherif, Tripoli / libya

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