has dropped more than 150 bombs and missiles on Libyan military targets. "I don't think we've weighed this out or defined what our national interest is," the Democrat, a retired Admiral, told Ed Schultz in one MSNBC hit. "We've dithered into this with the rest of the world bringing us in." Sestak said, among other things, the end-goal and rationale for the attack haven't been spelled out to the public. "With all due respect to the president, as Commander in Chief he has not laid that out." He argued that's especially important, given the fact the United States has spent a near-decade in Afghanistan and Iraq. "This is not an outcome that the United States or any of our partners sought," said President Obama on Saturday. " Even yesterday, the international community offered Muammar Qaddafi the opportunity to pursue an immediate cease-fire, one that stopped the violence against civilians and the advances of Qaddafi’s forces.  But despite the hollow words of his government, he has ignored that opportunity.  His attacks on his own people have continued.  His forces have been on the move.  And the danger faced by the people of Libya has grown." The president has made it clear "we will not -- I repeat -- we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground," but Sestak wondered whether that could change, as the conflict continues or escalates. "President Clinton said no ground troops in the former Yugloslavia....in order to win we had to put boots on the ground." "I would have great caution. I do not think we're taking the right step." On a political note, Sestak seems much more confident, direct and on-message when talking military issues here than he ever did during the 2010 Senate campaign. (As every reporter who covered the race will tell you, Sestak interviews or stump speeches could last for 45-minute stretches, hopping from topic to topic to topic.) The argument he's making is consistent with everything he always said about Afghanistan and Iraq, but the delivery is much more polished. It makes me wonder whether he was simply never comfortable in the political realm, compared to the military."> has dropped more than 150 bombs and missiles on Libyan military targets. "I don't think we've weighed this out or defined what our national interest is," the Democrat, a retired Admiral, told Ed Schultz in one MSNBC hit. "We've dithered into this with the rest of the world bringing us in." Sestak said, among other things, the end-goal and rationale for the attack haven't been spelled out to the public. "With all due respect to the president, as Commander in Chief he has not laid that out." He argued that's especially important, given the fact the United States has spent a near-decade in Afghanistan and Iraq. "This is not an outcome that the United States or any of our partners sought," said President Obama on Saturday. " Even yesterday, the international community offered Muammar Qaddafi the opportunity to pursue an immediate cease-fire, one that stopped the violence against civilians and the advances of Qaddafi’s forces.  But despite the hollow words of his government, he has ignored that opportunity.  His attacks on his own people have continued.  His forces have been on the move.  And the danger faced by the people of Libya has grown." The president has made it clear "we will not -- I repeat -- we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground," but Sestak wondered whether that could change, as the conflict continues or escalates. "President Clinton said no ground troops in the former Yugloslavia....in order to win we had to put boots on the ground." "I would have great caution. I do not think we're taking the right step." On a political note, Sestak seems much more confident, direct and on-message when talking military issues here than he ever did during the 2010 Senate campaign. (As every reporter who covered the race will tell you, Sestak interviews or stump speeches could last for 45-minute stretches, hopping from topic to topic to topic.) The argument he's making is consistent with everything he always said about Afghanistan and Iraq, but the delivery is much more polished. It makes me wonder whether he was simply never comfortable in the political realm, compared to the military."> has dropped more than 150 bombs and missiles on Libyan military targets. "I don't think we've weighed this out or defined what our national interest is," the Democrat, a retired Admiral, told Ed Schultz in one MSNBC hit. "We've dithered into this with the rest of the world bringing us in." Sestak said, among other things, the end-goal and rationale for the attack haven't been spelled out to the public. "With all due respect to the president, as Commander in Chief he has not laid that out." He argued that's especially important, given the fact the United States has spent a near-decade in Afghanistan and Iraq. "This is not an outcome that the United States or any of our partners sought," said President Obama on Saturday. " Even yesterday, the international community offered Muammar Qaddafi the opportunity to pursue an immediate cease-fire, one that stopped the violence against civilians and the advances of Qaddafi’s forces.  But despite the hollow words of his government, he has ignored that opportunity.  His attacks on his own people have continued.  His forces have been on the move.  And the danger faced by the people of Libya has grown." The president has made it clear "we will not -- I repeat -- we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground," but Sestak wondered whether that could change, as the conflict continues or escalates. "President Clinton said no ground troops in the former Yugloslavia....in order to win we had to put boots on the ground." "I would have great caution. I do not think we're taking the right step." On a political note, Sestak seems much more confident, direct and on-message when talking military issues here than he ever did during the 2010 Senate campaign. (As every reporter who covered the race will tell you, Sestak interviews or stump speeches could last for 45-minute stretches, hopping from topic to topic to topic.) The argument he's making is consistent with everything he always said about Afghanistan and Iraq, but the delivery is much more polished. It makes me wonder whether he was simply never comfortable in the political realm, compared to the military."> Sestak emerging as Libya skeptic | State House Sound Bites | witf.org
State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Sestak emerging as Libya skeptic

Written by Scott Detrow, StateImpact Pennsylvania Reporter | Mar 20, 2011 3:18 PM

Here's a bit of a surprise: since coalition attacks on Libya began yesterday, former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak has emerged as a cable news skeptic of the Obama Administration, and what he argues is a lack of planning or mission direction.


As of Sunday morning, the U.S. has dropped more than 150 bombs and missiles on Libyan military targets.


"I don't think we've weighed this out or defined what our national interest is," the Democrat, a retired Admiral, told Ed Schultz in one MSNBC hit. "We've dithered into this with the rest of the world bringing us in."


Sestak said, among other things, the end-goal and rationale for the attack haven't been spelled out to the public. "With all due respect to the president, as Commander in Chief he has not laid that out." He argued that's especially important, given the fact the United States has spent a near-decade in Afghanistan and Iraq.


"This is not an outcome that the United States or any of our partners sought," said President Obama on Saturday. " Even yesterday, the international community offered Muammar Qaddafi the opportunity to pursue an immediate cease-fire, one that stopped the violence against civilians and the advances of Qaddafi’s forces.  But despite the hollow words of his government, he has ignored that opportunity.  His attacks on his own people have continued.  His forces have been on the move.  And the danger faced by the people of Libya has grown."

The president has made it clear "we will not -- I repeat -- we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground," but Sestak wondered whether that could change, as the conflict continues or escalates. "President Clinton said no ground troops in the former Yugloslavia....in order to win we had to put boots on the ground."


"I would have great caution. I do not think we're taking the right step."

 

On a political note, Sestak seems much more confident, direct and on-message when talking military issues here than he ever did during the 2010 Senate campaign. (As every reporter who covered the race will tell you, Sestak interviews or stump speeches could last for 45-minute stretches, hopping from topic to topic to topic.) The argument he's making is consistent with everything he always said about Afghanistan and Iraq, but the delivery is much more polished. It makes me wonder whether he was simply never comfortable in the political realm, compared to the military.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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