Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Mar 28th, 2011 :: 0:21:55 to 0:30:25
Total video length: 4 hours 34 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Mitch McConnell

0:21:43 to 0:22:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: quorum call: mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask that further proceedings under the the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, today is the american naval aviators in the mediterranean wait offshore to fly combat missions against the libyan army, asthma reasons wait for the call to go --

Mitch McConnell

0:21:55 to 0:30:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell

0:22:06 to 0:22:27( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: as marines wait the wall to go ashore to rescue a downed pilot, or as rescue pilots fly combat air patrol, we are confident that all military orders will be met with the same professionalism and skill we have come to expect of our all-volunteer force. the valor and loyalty of our

Mitch McConnell

0:22:28 to 0:22:48( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: armed forces have never been in question. and yet despite that certainty, many americans view our military intervention in libya with anxiety and uncertainty. they're wondering why u.s. forces are once again engaged in combat action against an arab regime in the middle east. they're wondering when this operation will end. and when their loved ones will

Mitch McConnell

0:22:49 to 0:23:11( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: return. and they're asking another reasonable question: what is the mission? if the american people are uncertain as to our military objectives in libya, it is with good cause. mr. mcconnell: the president has failed to explain up to this point what follows the evident establishment of a no-fly zone

Mitch McConnell

0:23:12 to 0:23:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: over libya as it was originally described. further, the president has articulated a wider political objective of regime change in libya that is not the stated objective of our military intervention nor is it the mandate of the u.n. resolution that the president has used as a justification for our military efforts there.

Mitch McConnell

0:23:34 to 0:23:55( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: so now that the objective of establishing a no-fly zone has been reached and our nato allies are ready to assume the command and execution of this mission, it's fair to ask: what is the role of our military and military alliance in providing support to an opposition that we are only now beginning to

Mitch McConnell

0:23:56 to 0:24:17( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: understand? these concerns and questions are equally relevant here in the senate and in the congress since it is the responsibility of congress to declare war. mr. mcconnell: if it is war and, of course, to fund our military operations. now, the president has stated there is no decision i face as your commander in chief that i

Mitch McConnell

0:24:18 to 0:24:38( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: consider as carefully as the decision to ask our men and women to use military force, particularly at a time when our military is fighting in afghanistan and winding down our activities in iraq, that decision is only made more difficult. and yet this latest decision was taken without adequate consultation with congress or

Mitch McConnell

0:24:39 to 0:25:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: sufficient explanation to the american people. since returning from south america, the president has begun to talk in greater detail about our involvement in libya. for the second time, he's discussed our operations in and around libya with the congressional leadership. over the weekend, he devoted his entire address to the topic, and he'll speak to the american

Mitch McConnell

0:25:01 to 0:25:21( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: people tonight about our operations in libya. all of this is welcome and, in my view, overdue. before addressing what answers i hope to hear from the president this evening, let me address the notifications to congress that the president has made. prior to the initiation of combat activities in libya, the congressional leadership

Mitch McConnell

0:25:22 to 0:25:44( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: received two forms of notification of the president's decision to order americans into harm's way. prior to departing for his overseas trip, the president notified the congressional leadership of his plans to send american forces in to combat in action a limited, discreet role to destroy the integrated air defenses of the libyan

Mitch McConnell

0:25:45 to 0:26:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: government and to enable our allies to establish a no-fly zone over libya. the second notification was a written communication, as part of his responsibilities under the war powers resolution. throughout his communications with the congressional leadership, the president has emphasized that the united states military would not undertake ground combat against

Mitch McConnell

0:26:07 to 0:26:27( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: the libyan army and that the american combat role would be limited in time, scope, and would be used simply as a means to set the conditions for our european allies and arab partners to carry out the measures authorized by the u.n. security council resolution. the president, his mail terry advisors and commanders -- his

Mitch McConnell

0:26:28 to 0:26:48( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: military advisors and commanders have explained that the overwhelming american capabilities to destroy enemy air defenses, target command-and-control structures, jam communications signals, and monitor the battlefield would all be employed to allow nato and the coalition to assume responsibility for the no-fly zone.

Mitch McConnell

0:26:49 to 0:27:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: it was the limited nature of our combat role that encouraged me that the president was acting within his article 2 authorities as commander in chief. and the actions by nato over the past few days to take over command and responsibility for the no-fly zone are consistent with the president's commitment that limited u.s. actions will set the stage for further action

Mitch McConnell

0:27:13 to 0:27:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: by our coalition partners. here i'm reminded of the important contribution of secretary of defense robert gates in advising the president since he came to office. the president is fortunate to be able to call upon the wisdom of this seasoned national security expert in considering our operations in afghanistan, iraq, and in libya.

Mitch McConnell

0:27:34 to 0:27:54( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: it was secretary gates who reminded the american people of the risks inherent in military intervention. i know his views will be critical as we transfer further responsibiliies to the coalition and i hope the administration pays close attention to what he says. this week, nato will consider

Mitch McConnell

0:27:55 to 0:28:15( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: the last part of the mission that must be transferred. what the united nations resolution refers to as "protection of civilian personnel" has included attacks on libyan ground forces and strike missions conducted by american war planes. if u.s. military forces were to have responsibility for close

Mitch McConnell

0:28:16 to 0:28:37( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: air support or execute additional strike missions in support of opposition forces, then that, of course, would exceed the president's definition of a limited supporting role. such a mission could last indefinitely and would trigger congressional consideration of our larger role in the war. now, my expectation is that the

Mitch McConnell

0:28:38 to 0:28:59( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: president will explain this transfer of responsibility in his speech tonight and that nato will resolve this issue this week. ending our efforts there as the primary force. as the commander of u.s. africa command, general carter hamm has said, our "mandate, again, our mission is to protect civilians

Mitch McConnell

0:29:00 to 0:29:20( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: from attack by the regime ground forces. our mission is not to support any opposition forces." general hamm has also said we do not operate in direct support of the opposition forces. so so as president obama addresses

Mitch McConnell

0:29:21 to 0:29:44( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: the nation, i'll be listening for answers to the following questions: when will the u.s. combat role in the operation end? will america's commitment end in days, not weeks, as the president promised? what will be the duration of the noncombat operation and what

Mitch McConnell

0:29:45 to 0:30:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: will be the cost? what national security interests of the united states justified the risk of american life? what is the role of our country in libya's ongoing civil war? the president made clear that our combat forces' role in libia will be limited in scope and duration. tonight i hope he will reiterate

Mitch McConnell

0:30:06 to 0:30:25( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: that pledge or ask congress before extending the duration or scope of our mission there. and, as always, our thoughts are with the brave young americans places like helmand province, baghdad, those in the people recover from the natural disaster there and those

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