[Congressional Record: June 21, 2011 (Senate)]
[Page S3941-S3945]                        


  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I rise to join the Senator from 
Massachusetts, who will shortly submit the product of many hours of 
bipartisan cooperation and negotiation, an authorization for the 
limited use of military force in Libya. The resolution, as will be 
introduced by my colleague from Massachusetts, as I mentioned, would 
authorize the President to employ the U.S. Armed Forces to advance U.S. 
national security interests in Libya as part of the international 
coalition that is enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions in Libya. 
It would limit this authority to 1 year, which is more than enough time 
to finish the job, and it makes clear that the Senate agrees with the 
President that there is no need and no desire to commit U.S. 
conventional ground forces in Libya.
  I will be the first to admit that this authorization is not perfect 
and it will not make everyone happy. It does not fully make me happy. I 
would have preferred that this authorization make clear that our 
military mission includes the President's stated policy objective of 
forcing Qadhafi to leave power. I would have preferred that it urge the 
President to commit more U.S. strike aircraft to the mission in Libya 
so as to help bring this conflict to a close as soon as possible. And I 
would have preferred that it call on the President to recognize the 
Transitional National Council as the legitimate voice of the Libyan 
people so as to free Qadhafi's frozen assets for the Transitional 
National Council to use on behalf of the Libyan people. I have called 
on the administration to do all of these things for some time, and I do 
so now again.
  That said, this authorization has been a bipartisan effort. My 
Republican colleagues and I have had to make compromises, just as have 
the Senator from Massachusetts and his Democratic colleagues. I believe 
the end result is an authorization that deserves the support of my 
colleagues in the Senate on both sides of the aisle, and I am confident 
they will support it.
  I know the administration has made it clear that it believes it does 
not need a congressional authorization such as this because it is their 
view that U.S. military operations in Libya do not rise to the level of 
hostility. I believe this assertion will strike most of my colleagues 
and the Americans they represent as a confusing breach of common sense, 
and it seems to be undercut by the very report the administration sent 
to Congress which makes clear that U.S. Armed Forces have been and 
presumably will continue to fly limited strike missions to suppress 
enemy air defenses, to operate armed Predator drones that are attacking 
Qadhafi's forces in an effort to protect Libyan civilians, and to 
provide the overwhelming support for NATO operations, from intelligence 
to aerial refueling. Indeed, we read in today's New York Times that 
since the April 7 date that the administration claims to have ceased 
hostilities in Libya, U.S. warplanes have struck at Libyan air defenses 
on 60 occasions and fired about 30 missiles from unmanned drones.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
at the conclusion of my remarks the article from today's New York Times 
entitled ``Scores of U.S. Strikes in Libya Follow Handoff to Libya.''
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. McCAIN. I certainly agree that actions such as these do not 
amount to a full-fledged state of war, and I will certainly grant that 
I am no legal scholar, but I find it hard to swallow that U.S. Armed 
Forces dropping bombs and killing enemy personnel in a foreign country 
does not amount to a state of hostilities.
  What is worse, this is just the latest way in which this 
administration has mishandled its responsibility with regard to 
Congress. The President could have asked to authorize our intervention 
in Libya months ago, and I believe it could have received a strong, 
though certainly not unanimous, show of support.
  The administration's disregard for the elected representatives of the 
American people on this matter has been troubling and 
counterproductive. The unfortunate result of this failure of leadership 
is plain to see in the full-scale revolt against the administration's 
Libya policy that is occurring in the House of Representatives. As I 
speak now, our colleagues in the House are preparing a measure that 
would cut off all funding for U.S. military operations in Libya, and 
they plan to vote on it in the coming days.
  I know many were opposed to this mission from the beginning, and I 
respect their convictions. I myself have disagreed and disagreed 
strongly at

[[Page S3942]]

times with aspects of the administration's policy in Libya. But at the 
end of the day, I believe the President did the right thing by 
intervening to stop a looming humanitarian disaster in Libya.
  Amid all our arguments over prudence, legality, and constitutionality 
of the administration's policy in Libya, we cannot forget the main 
point: In the midst of the most groundbreaking geopolitical event in 
two decades, as peaceful protests for democracy were sweeping the 
Middle East, with Qadhafi's forces ready to strike at the gates of 
Benghazi and with Arabs and Muslims in Libya and across the region 
pleading for the U.S. military to stop the bloodshed, the United States 
and our allies took action and prevented the massacre Qadhafi had 
promised to commit in a city of 700,000 people. By doing so, we began 
creating conditions that are increasing the pressure on Qadhafi to give 
up power.
  Yes, the progress toward this goal has been slower than many had 
hoped and the administration is doing less to achieve it than I and 
others would like, but the bottom line is this: We are succeeding, 
Qadhafi is weakening. His military leaders and closest associates are 
abandoning him. NATO is increasing the tempo of its operations and 
degrading Qadhafi's military capabilities and command and control. The 
Transitional National Council is gaining international recognition and 
support and performing more effectively, and though their progress is 
uneven, opposition forces in Libya are making strategic gains on the 
  We are all entitled to our opinions about Libya policy, but here are 
the facts. Qadhafi is going to fall. It is just a matter of time. So I 
ask my colleagues, is this the time for Congress to turn against this 
policy? Is this the time to ride to the rescue of a failing tyrant when 
the writing is on the wall that he will collapse? Is this the time for 
Congress to declare to the world, to Qadhafi and his inner circle, to 
all of the Libyans who are sacrificing to force Qadhafi from power, and 
to our NATO allies who are carrying a far heavier burden in this 
military operation than we are--is this the time for America to tell 
all of these different audiences that our heart is not in this, that we 
have neither the will nor the capability to see this mission through, 
that we will abandon our closest friends and allies on a whim? These 
are the questions every Member of Congress needs to think about long 
and hard but especially my Republican colleagues.
  Many of us remember well the way some of our friends on the other 
side of the aisle savaged President Bush over the Iraq war and how they 
sought to do everything in their power to tie his hands and pull 
America out of that conflict. We were right to condemn that behavior 
then, and we would be wrong to practice it now ourselves simply because 
the leader of the opposite party occupies the White House. Someday--I 
hope soon--a Republican will again occupy the White House, and that 
President may need to commit U.S. armed forces to hostilities. So if my 
Republican colleagues are indifferent to how their actions would affect 
this President, I would urge them to think seriously about how a vote 
to cut off funding for this military operation can come back to haunt a 
future President when the shoe is on the other foot.
  The House of Representatives will have its say on our involvement in 
Libya this week. The Senate has been silent for too long. It is time 
for the Senate to speak, and when that time comes I believe we will 
find a strong bipartisan majority in favor of authorizing our current 
military operations in Libya and seeing this mission through to 
success. That is the message Qadhafi needs to hear; it is a message 
Qadhafi's opponents, fighting to liberate their nation, need to hear; 
and it is a message America's friends and allies need to hear.
  So let's debate this authorization, but then let's vote on it as soon 
as possible.
  I wish to thank my colleague from Massachusetts for his hard work on 
this resolution. I understand he will be submitting it very soon. I 
hope the majority leader of the Senate will schedule a debate and vote 
on this resolution as soon as possible. It is long overdue.

                               Exhibit 1

                [From the New York Times, June 20, 2011]

        Scores of U.S. Strikes in Libya Followed Handoff to NATO

                  (By Charlie Savage and Thom Shanker)

       Washington.--Since the United States handed control of the 
     air war in Libya to NATO in early April, American warplanes 
     have struck at Libyan air defenses about 60 times, and 
     remotely operated drones have fired missiles at Libyan forces 
     about 30 times, according to military officials.
       The most recent strike from a piloted United States 
     aircraft was on Saturday, and the most recent strike from an 
     American drone was on Wednesday, the officials said.
       While the Obama administration has regularly acknowledged 
     that American forces have continued to take part in some of 
     the strike sorties, few details about their scope and 
     frequency have been made public.
       The unclassified portion of material about Libya that the 
     White House sent to Congress last week, for example, said 
     ``American strikes are limited to the suppression of enemy 
     air defense and occasional strikes by unmanned Predator'' 
     drones, but included no numbers for such strikes.
       The disclosure of such details could add texture to an 
     unfolding debate about the merits of the Obama 
     administration's legal argument that it does not need 
     Congressional authorization to continue the mission because 
     United States forces are not engaged in ``hostilities'' 
     within the meaning of the War Powers Resolution.
       Under that 1973 law, presidents must end unauthorized 
     deployments 60 days after notifying Congress that they have 
     introduced American forces into actual or imminent 
     hostilities. That deadline for the Libyan mission appeared to 
     pass on May 20, but the administration contended that the 
     deadline did not apply because the United States' role had 
     not risen to the level of ``hostilities,'' at least since it 
     handed control of the mission over to NATO.
       In support of that argument, the administration has pointed 
     to a series of factors, noting, for example, that most of the 
     strikes have been carried out by allies, while the United 
     States has primarily been playing ``non-kinetic'' supporting 
     roles like refueling and surveillance. It has also said there 
     is little risk of American casualties because there are no 
     ground troops and Libyan forces have little ability to 
     exchange fire with American aircraft. And it noted that the 
     mission is constrained from escalating by a United Nations 
     Security Council resolution.
       The special anti-radar missiles used to suppress enemy air 
     defenses are usually carried by piloted aircraft, not drones, 
     and the Pentagon has regularly said that American military 
     aircraft have continued to conduct these missions. Still, 
     officials have been reluctant to release the exact numbers of 
       Under military doctrine, strikes aimed at suppressing air 
     defenses are typically considered to be defensive actions, 
     not offensive. On the other hand, military doctrine also 
     considers the turning on of air-defense radar in a no-fly 
     zone to be a ``hostile act.'' It is not clear whether any of 
     the Libyan defenses were made targets because they had turned 
     on such radar.
       The administration's legal position prompted internal 
     controversy. Top lawyers at the Justice Department and the 
     Pentagon argued that the United States' military activities 
     did amount to ``hostilities'' under the War Powers 
     Resolution, but President Obama sided with top lawyers at the 
     State Department and the White House who contended that they 
     did not cross that threshold.
       On Monday, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, 
     acknowledged the internal debate, but defended the judgment 
     made by Mr. Obama, noting that the applicability of the War 
     Powers Resolution to deployments has repeatedly prompted 
     debate over the years.
       The House of Representatives may vote later this week on a 
     proposal to cut off funding for the Libya mission. The 
     proposal is backed by an odd-bedfellows coalition of antiwar 
     liberals and Tea Party Republicans.
       They are opposed by an equally unusual alignment of 
     Democrats who support the White House and the intervention in 
     Libya, and more hawkish Republicans.
       On Monday, a group that includes prominent neoconservative 
     figures--including Liz Cheney, Robert Kagan, William Kristol 
     and Paul Wolfowitz--sent Republicans an open letter opposing 
     efforts to cut off funds for the mission.

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the 
absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I see another colleague who is waiting for 
time. I ask unanimous consent to proceed for such time as I might use, 
but it won't be much over 10 minutes.

[[Page S3943]]

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. KERRY. I thank the Chair.
  Mr. President, I wish to thank the Senator from Arizona for his 
important and courageous comments that run counter to the political 
currents of the day, some of which have been expressed in the other 
body and elsewhere. I thank him for thinking about the strategic 
interests of the country ahead of some of the political interests with 
respect to the next election.
  There have been many occasions when this body has behaved very 
differently when a President, either Republican or Democrat, has 
engaged American forces in one way or another without authorization 
within that 60-day--or even outside of the 60-day--parameter of the War 
Powers Act. The fact is, we have had a number of military actions--
Panama, Libya in 1986, Grenada in 1983, Iran in 1980, Haiti in 1993, 
the Persian Gulf in 1987 to 1988, Lebanon in 1982, and then 
subsequently Kosovo in 1999, Bosnia in 1992, Somalia in 1992--which 
didn't have this fight about authorization.
  In fact, only Iraq in 2003, Afghanistan in 2001, and Iraq in 1990 
were authorized prior to our engagement. The fact is, four of those I 
mentioned ended before the 60 days had expired, but the others didn't. 
Bosnia, Kosovo, and Somalia all went beyond 60 days, and the issue was 
never raised. So I think it is important for us to put this in context, 
if you will, and to measure some of the realities and the choices we 
face with respect to Libya today.
  We will shortly this morning--a little later--be submitting this 
resolution. It is a bipartisan resolution. Democrats and Republicans 
are joining together to put in a very limited authorization with 
respect to our engagement in a support role--not any direct engagement 
but a support role only--and it is limited to that support role.
  I am particularly familiar with the debate relating to, and with the 
War Powers Act itself, over these years because that was a debate that 
took place specifically in response to the war that Senator McCain and 
I were both a part of--the Vietnam war. The War Powers Act was a direct 
reaction to that war which was at that time the longest war in our 
history, until now--Afghanistan--10 years in duration. Over 58,000 
Americans lost their lives, and it spanned several administrations, 
including Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. The fact is, as a result of that 
war in which we never declared war, the Congress wanted to assert its 
appropriate prerogatives with respect to the declaration of war and the 
engagement of American forces. So the War Powers Act was passed.
  The War Powers Act very specifically created this dynamic where the 
Congress had 60 days to act. The President could deploy troops for a 
period of 60 days without their action, and if they hadn't acted, the 
inaction itself would require a President to then withdraw troops. So 
it didn't actually require the Congress to act, but it created this 60-
day period. The fact is, any Member of Congress during those 60 days 
could bring a resolution to the floor denying the President the right 
to go forward. Nobody did that in the past 60 days, I am glad to say, 
and we are now beyond those 60 days.
  It is not without precedent, incidentally, that we have authorized an 
action much later. In fact, I think one action was specifically 
authorized for about a year, and that was the action in Lebanon. About 
a year after they had landed it was authorized. So we are within days 
of that in terms of this discussion.
  Let me read specifically what the War Powers Act says. It says:

       In the absence of a declaration of war, in any case in 
     which the United States Armed Forces are introduced into 
     hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in 
     hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances. . . .

  I think the operative words, the critical words, are ``United States 
Armed Forces are introduced into hostilities.''
  Now, one could argue, as people are--there is an article in the 
Washington Post today, and there are other articles where people are 
saying: Well, of course we are in hostilities. Hostilities are taking 
place. Bombs are being dropped. But that is not, in my judgment, even 
though I support the War Powers Act--and President Obama, incidentally, 
has supported it here, which is unique from other Presidents--but the 
fact is, just because hostilities are taking place and we are 
supporting people engaged in those hostilities does not mean we are 
ourselves, in fact, introducing troops into hostilities.
  No American is being shot at. No American troop is on the ground or 
contemplated being put on the ground. So the mere fact that others are 
engaged in hostilities and we are supporting them I don't believe 
automatically triggers what was contemplated in the aftermath of the 
Vietnam war.
  Frankly, that is not the principal argument we need to be having. 
What we need to be doing is looking at the bigger picture. I don't 
think any country--the United States, the U.N., or any nation--ought to 
be drawn lightly into any kind of military intervention. I have always 
argued that. But, in my judgment, there were powerful reasons the 
United States should have joined in establishing the no-fly zone over 
Libya and forcing Qadhafi to keep his most potent weapons out of the 
  If we slice through the fog of misinformation and weigh the risks and 
the benefits alongside our values and our interests, which are always 
at stake, I think the justification for the President's involvement, 
for our country's involvement, and for our supporting it are 
compelling, and I think they are clear.
  What is happening in the Middle East right now could be the single 
most important geostrategic shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It 
has profound implications for U.S. expenditures and for U.S. military 
engagement in other parts of the region. It has significant impact on 
the threats we will face, on the potential strategic risks for our 
country, and for our interests in terms of that region.
  Absent United Nations-NATO resolve, the promise that the prodemocracy 
movement holds for transforming the Arab world--the whole Arab world--
and all it could mean for the United States in terms of hopes for peace 
between Israel and Palestine, hopes for a different set of 
relationships, hopes for restraining Wahabi-ism, hopes for diminishing 
the levels of religious extremism, hopes for reducing the amount of 
terrorism--all of those things are contained in this awakening, in this 
transformation people are trying to achieve. It is an effort which I 
and others believe would have been crushed if the hopes of the 
prodemocracy movement were simply ignored and we turned our backs on 
  I can't imagine--just think about the consequences. Colonel Qadhafi 
says: I am going to show no mercy. I am going to go and kill those 
dogs--dogs--who have risen up and expressed their desire to have 
fundamental freedoms and rights. He is going to go into Benghazi and he 
is going to annihilate anybody who is in opposition to him. We already 
saw him pulling people out of hospital beds. We already saw him 
attacking women--using rape as a tool of war--dishonoring people in the 
Muslim world as a consequence for life. We saw what he was doing.
  Are we really serious that in the wake of the gulf states, in an 
unprecedented request saying to us: We want your help; in the wake of 
the Arab League in an unprecedented request asking for U.S. and other 
Western engagement in their part of the world to stand up for these 
rights, that we would simply say: Too bad, so sad, go about your 
business, we have better things to do?
  The consequences would have been extraordinary. Remember, President 
Clinton said his greatest regret of his Presidency was he didn't engage 
in Rwanda and prevent--which we could have done at very low cost--what 
happened with the genocide in Rwanda. That is his greatest regret.
  How many Senators have gone to Israel and gone somewhere else in the 
world and said to people with respect to the Holocaust: Never again; 
never again. Do the words only apply to one group of people or do the 
words have meaning in terms of genocide, in terms of wanton killing of 
innocent people at the hands of a dictator?
  So what is the cost to us of this great effort? I believe other 
dictators would have seen the failure to challenge Qadhafi as a 
complete license to act with impunity against their people at any other 

[[Page S3944]]

  The vast majority of the protesters in these countries are simply 
crying out for the opportunity to live a decent life, get a job, 
provide for a family, have opportunities, and have rights. I think 
abandoning them would have betrayed not only the people seeking 
democratic freedoms, but it would have abandoned the core values of our 
country. And I can hear now--I can hear it. Some of the same people now 
who are complaining about the President being involved would have been 
the first people at the barricade complaining about why the United 
States did not stand up for our values and how feckless the President 
was that he was not willing to stop a dictator from coming at these 
innocent people. You can hear it. Everybody in the country knows that 
is exactly where we would be.
  Now, why there and not in Syria? A legitimate question. There are 
different interests and different capacities. The reality is, the Gulf 
States asked us to come in. The Arab League asked us to come in. And we 
knew whom we were dealing with with respect to the council and the 
players. There is a whole set of uncertainties with respect to Syria, 
even today, that distinguish it both in terms of what we can assert and 
what we can achieve, and sometimes both in foreign policy and in 
domestic policy you are limited to what you can achieve and to what is 
doable in a certain situation.
  I believe if we had simply turned our backs, as some people are now 
arguing we ought to do now, which would be the most reckless thing I 
have ever heard in my life--at a moment where people are actually 
achieving the goals, where the pressures are mounting, where Qadhafi is 
less able to maneuver, where his forces have been reduced, where many 
people in our intelligence community and in the NATO intelligence 
community are saying there is progress being made and the vice is 
tightening--that we would suddenly just pull the rug out from under 
that is extraordinary to me. Snatch--snatch--defeat from the jaws of 
victory. I believe--I cannot tell you when it might happen, but I am 
absolutely confident it is going to happen--Qadhafi is finished. Ask 
the people in the country. Even his own supporters are reacting out of 
fear. And the truth is, the vice is tightening because every day that 
goes by, the opposition gets stronger; every day that goes by, he has 
less ability to manage the affairs of the country itself.
  I think if we simply send the message the House of Representatives is 
contemplating today, it would be a moment of infamy, frankly, with 
respect to the House and with respect to our interests because it would 
reinforce the all too common misperception on the Arab street that 
America says one thing and does another.
  We are already spending billions of dollars in the fight against 
extremism in many parts of the world. We did not choose this fight. 
Everybody knows that. It was forced on us, starting with 9/11. To fail 
to see the opportunity of affirming the courageous demand of millions 
of disenfranchised young people who had been the greatest recruits for 
al-Qaida for the extremism, for any of the extremist groups--to not 
affirm their quest now to try to push back against repression and 
oppression and to try to open a set of opportunities for themselves for 
jobs, for respect, for democracy--I think to turn our backs on that 
would be ignorant, irresponsible, shortsighted, and dangerous for our 
country. It would ignore our real national security interests, and it 
would help extend the narrative of resentment toward the United States 
and much of the West that is rooted in colonialism and furthered by our 
own invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
  Remember, the pleas for help did not just come from the Libyan 
rebels. And this is not something we just cooked up here at home with 
some desire to go get engaged somewhere. It came from the Arab League, 
which has never before asked for this kind of assistance. It came from 
the Gulf States, which have never before said to the West: We need your 
help to come intervene.
  Even at the hand of their own leader, it seems to me that if we had 
silently accepted the deaths of Muslims, we would have set back our 
relations for decades. Instead, by responding and giving the popular 
uprising a chance to take power, I think the United States and our 
allies send a message of solidarity with the aspirations of people 
everywhere, and I believe that will be remembered for generations.
  The particular nature of the madman who was vowing to ``show no 
mercy'' to his own people, to his own fellow Muslims, the particular 
nature of this man, who was going to go after the ``dogs'' who dared to 
challenge him, and his role in the past, I believe, mandated that we 
respond. And we responded in a stunningly limited way.
  I do think our colleagues from New Jersey and New York and other 
States in New England need to reflect on the fact--they do not really 
need a reminder, I suspect--that Qadhafi is the man who was behind the 
bombing of Pan Am 103, claiming the lives of 189 Americans.
  The intervention in Libya, in my judgment, sends a critical signal to 
other leaders in the region that they cannot automatically assume they 
can simply resort to large-scale violence to put down legitimate 
demands for reform without any consequences. I think U.N. resolve in 
Libya can have an impact on future calculations. Indeed, I think the 
leaders of Iran need to pay close attention to the resolve that is 
exhibited by the international community, and we need to think about 
that resolve in the context of our interests in Iran.
  The resolution we will submit--Senator McCain and myself and other 
Senators--is absolutely not a blank check for the President. Not at 
all. It is a resolution that authorizes limited use of American forces 
in a supporting role. I want to emphasize that. There is only an 
authorization for a supporting role. It says specifically that the 
Senate does not support the use of ground troops in Libya. The 
President has stated that is his policy, but we adopt that policy in 
this resolution. It authorizes the limited use of American forces for a 
limited duration, and it would expire 1 year from the time of 
  This resolution envisions action consistent with the letter the 
President sent to congressional leaders on May 20 in which he specified 
that the U.S. participation in Libya has consisted of nonkinetic 
support of the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical 
support, and search and rescue missions.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator has used 20 minutes.
  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I think I asked for such time as I would 
use, but I will try to tighten it up.
  The administration informed Congress last week it does not consider 
the use of U.S. forces to rise to the level of ``hostilities.'' I have 
already discussed that. I think there is an important constitutional 
question here, but it is not a new question. The truth is that 
Presidents--Democratic and Republican--have undertaken limited military 
action. I mentioned each of those instances.
  I think this debate is healthy, but the words we use about it have 
consequences. They send a message. And I think none of us should send 
any message to Colonel Qadhafi lightly. The last message any U.S. 
Senator wants to send, in my judgment, is that all he has to do is wait 
us out, all he has to do is wait for the Congress--even as the progress 
is being made and the vice is tightening--because we are divided at 
  I believe passage of this resolution would be an important step in 
showing the country and the rest of the world and particularly showing 
Muammar Qadhafi that the Congress of the United States and the 
President of the United States are committed to this critical endeavor. 
I firmly believe the country is on the strongest footing when the 
President and the Congress speak with one voice on foreign policy 
matters. So I hope our colleagues will support this resolution.
  For 60 years, we have been working to build a cohesive and consistent 
alliance with our partners in NATO. Many times our military and 
political leaders have complained that our European allies have not 
carried their share of the burden; that Americans have paid too high a 
price in blood and treasure; that we have led while others followed. 
Earlier this month, Secretary Gates warned that the NATO alliance is at 
risk because of European penny-pinching and distaste for front-line 
combat. He said the United States was not going to carry the alliance 
as a charity

[[Page S3945]]

case. Well, here is the alliance leading. Here is the alliance doing 
what we have wanted them to do for years. And here, all of a sudden, 
are Members of Congress suggesting it is OK to pull the rug out from 
under that alliance. I think that would really toll the bell for NATO.
  I believe we need to see the realities of the strategic interests 
that are on the table and proceed. Will we stand up for our values and 
our interests at the same time? Will we support the legitimate 
aspirations of the Libyan people? I think our own security ultimately 
will be strengthened immeasurably if we can assist them to transition 
to a democracy. The cost now will be far, far less than the cost in the 
future if we lose our resolve now.
  I thank my colleague for his generous allowance of the extra time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Shaheen). The Senator from Nebraska.