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Tuesday
Mar222011

White House Denies Fraying of Coalition Forces in Libyan Effort

US State Department(WASHINGTON) -- The White House pushed back Tuesday against suggestions that the international coalition supporting Operation Odyssey Dawn is fraying, and that the White House didn’t adequately consult with Congress before launching attacks against the Libyan government on Saturday.

Amidst reports of potential partners such as Norway and the United Arab Emirates hesitating or pulling back from contributing military assets to the effort, a senior White House official told ABC News that “on any given day of a complex situation there will be different data points, but the fact is we have effectively destroyed Gadhafi's air defenses, he has pulled back from Benghazi, and the coalition continues to grow.”

The official also said that on Monday “allies flew more missions than the U.S. for the first time.”  The government of Qatar is “moving in a positive direction,” the official said, with the Canadians, Spanish, Italians and Danes committing to join.”

On Capitol Hill, both Democrats and Republicans seemed concerned about what they described as a lack of adequate consultation with the White House.

“Last week some critics on Capitol Hill were complaining we were going too slow,” said a second senior White House official.  “Now they’re complaining we’re moving too fast.”

On Monday in Chile, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes suggested such complaints were without merit.

“There were a set of hearings over a period of time leading into the decision that we made,” Rhodes said.  “On March 1, the Senate passed a resolution that condemned the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya, including the attacks on protesters, and urging the United Nations to take action to protect civilians.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio