Gates: Libya War Not a Vital US Interest

Libya Posed No Threat to US Before War

Speaking Sunday on Meet the Press, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates shrugged off the notion that Libya posed any threat to the United States before last weekend’s attack, and confirmed that the war is not a “vital” American interest.

Rather Gates said the US had some interests in the region (notably Egypt) and was concerned that the refugees from Libya might have destabilized Egypt and Tunisia. Large numbers of refugees have fled the nation, and have continued to do so since the US war began.

Gates also confirmed that he still has no idea how long the war will last, and added “I don’t think anybody has any idea.” He insisted, however, that the war “has gone quite well” and that he remains confident about it.

The comments have added to criticisms that the Obama Administration entered the Libya War hastily and with very little consideration about how (or indeed if) it will end. President Obama has been condemned for starting the war during a Congressional recess and without any authorization from Congress.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.