Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement in response to the President’s speech this afternoon on the developing situation in Libya:

“I am deeply concerned about the developing situation in Libya. As we have all witnessed, Gadhafi has pursued a brutal campaign of violence and intimidation against the Libyan people. This must come to an end.

“These heinous actions must continue to be met with international condemnation and a multilateral response. In this light, I applaud the United Nations for building on previous actions and coming together to put forth a resolution to pressure Gadhafi to end hostilities. This resolution builds on previous sanctions and applies substantial pressure on the Gadhafi regime to end its brutal assault on the Libyan people.

“Moving forward, it is important that Congress plays a substantial role in any decision that might lead to action by the United States military. Committing U.S. troops to a conflict abroad is not a decision that should be made lightly. At this point in time, it is unclear how or if the President intends to utilize US military force, but it will be critical for the administration to keep Congress closely informed as it makes those decisions.”

“Again, we are all deeply concerned about the developing situation in Libya and hope to see a positive outcome. However, any use of U.S. military force will come with consequences and I urge the administration to seek Congressional input as they move forward with any plans to use U.S. military force.”

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