chapter  4
The US response to Libya
Pages 30

Libya was under the dictatorial leadership of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi since he seized power in a coup overthrowing King Idris in 1969. The United States led the international support of the Libyan peoples democratic aspirations in response to Gaddafis brutal attacks by mobilizing a broad coalition and securing an international mandate to protect civilians. Invoking the language of the Resolution, Obama argued that Gaddafis attacks and threats against civilians and civilian populated areas constitute a threat to the region and to international peace and security. Obama makes clear that a number of different factors need to be taken into account when considering the concept of the national interest and how it relates to the governments commitment to the solidarist notion of a responsibility to protect. Drawing on the Jeffersonian tradition in foreign policy, President Obamas first formal National Security Strategy describes an era in which the United States will have to learn to live within its limits.