Tonight, President Barack Obama will address the nation about the U.S. military involvement in Libya, and he faces an uphill climb if he wants to impress his critics. The speech comes more than a week after airstrikes began, a fact some suggest indicates a lack of leadership from the president. Others complain the location of the speech is inappropriate—in front of an audience at Washington's National Defense University, rather than from the Oval Office. [See photos of the unrest in Libya.]
Pundits and lawmakers are also weighing in on how they believe the speech should go. Last week, House Speaker John Boehner sent Obama a letter spelling out questions he thinks the nation’s leader should answer. “I respect your authority as Commander-in-Chief and support our troops as they carry out their mission,” he wrote. “But I and many other members of the House of Representatives are troubled that U.S. military resources were committed to war without clearly defining for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is and what America’s role is in achieving that mission.”
U.S. News blogger Mary Kate Cary argues that Obama should address how much the action will cost and give a specific framework for handling the crisis. “Rather than taking on the broader question about what our Middle East policy is going to be moving forward, he should announce a strategic review and give a date certain for reporting back to the American people what the big picture will be,” she writes.
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