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Defense Secretary: Libya Did Not Pose Threat to U.S., Was Not ‘Vital National Interest’ to Intervene

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Jake Tapper
ABC News
March 28, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Libya did not pose a threat to the United States before the U.S. began its military campaign against the North African country.

On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”

“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about.  The engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans, the general humanitarian question that was at stake,” he said.

Gates explained that there was more at stake, however. “There was another piece of this though, that certainly was a consideration.  You’ve had revolutions on both the East and the West of Libya,” he said, emphasizing the potential wave of refugees from Libya could have destabilized Tunisia and Egypt.

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This article was posted: Monday, March 28, 2011 at 4:52 am





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