Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Thursday that opposes any U.S. military intervention in Libya as the Obama administration has begun pushing for greater United Nations involvement in the conflict.
“I have great sympathy for people that are involved in that war there,” Paul said in response to a question on Libya at a news conference on the federal budget. “We’re involved in two wars right now, and I don’t think we really need to be involved in a third war. I do think the questions of war are the most important decisions we make as a country and as representatives, and that needs to be something that is considered and voted on in the Senate and the House. I tell people I won’t vote to go to war unless I’m ready to go or send my kids.”
Paul added that in addition to financial questions about American involvement in Libya, there are other concerns, including the lack of more information about the opposition forces in the country.
“Can somebody anywhere tell me with a surety that the people fighting against Gaddafi are not in favor of radical Islamic government or radical Sharia-type government?” Paul asked. “I don’t know that. I’m not sure anybody knows that. I’m not sure anybody even knows who the leaders are. It’s not that I don’t sympathize with them wanting to overcome a tyrant. I just don’t know if I know enough that I’m willing to go and say that I’m absolutely fighting for freedom by going over there or sending our kids over there.”
Paul’s remarks come as congressional leaders are divided on how the United States should deal with the conflict. Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry (D-Mass.) has called on the UN Security Council to pass a resolution authorizing military intervention in Libya. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, has said that any move that would involve a military intervention must first be debated and voted on by Congress.