Former Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak is emerging as a critic of President Barack Obama’s decision to attack Libya.
The former admiral and congressman from Pennsylvania has been making regular cable news appearances since the conflict began Saturday. He said he’s worried the Obama Administration hasn’t spelled out what coalition forces are trying to accomplish through the attacks.
“Are the costs worth our interest? Do we understand the risk we’re assuming?” he asked during an interview. Sestak argued Obama’s objectives seem cloudy, pointing out Obama has said Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi needs to leave office, but has clarified that regime change isn’t the goal of the NATO mission.
The Democrat also said Obama hasn’t justified the attacks to Americans, and should have come back from his South American trip to do so.
“You know what? After two wars, almost a decade in each, I think it would have been worth the cancellation of the trip,” he said. “At such a moment in time, [Obama] should have been laying it out on a consistent basis for the public. What is going to happen, what the end-games are, what’s the risk environment we’re entering.”
The president has made several public statements about the mission, but has yet to deliver a nationally televised speech. He was in Brazil when attacks began Saturday, and will remain in South America until Wednesday.
This is an issue Sestak and the man who beat him, Republican Senator Pat Toomey, agree on. Toomey recently said he’s against sending American troops to Libya, saying, “There are very many unanswered questions about what would the purpose be, when would we leave, what would we measure as a success, what would we do if and when Americans start being killed . . . I think there are too many unanswered questions right now for us to commit forces to Libya.”