CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Idea of the Day: We Need to Focus on What Is Important in Libya

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon
idea light bulb

President Barack Obama’s political opponents are trying once again to manufacture a scandal out of the tragic deaths of four American government personnel at a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, last September. Among those killed was the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. The current political and media feeding frenzy surrounding the Benghazi attacks is no more than a parsing of interagency debates on postattack talking points, and it is based on what former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called “cartoonish” views of U.S. military capabilities.

This Washington convulsion may serve the political interests of President Obama’s domestic opponents, but it obscures two far more important issues: the deterioration of the overall situation in Libya, and the longer-term challenge the United States faces of managing security risks when conducting diplomacy in insecure locations. The mindless political debate over Obama administration talking points from last fall harms efforts to come to grips with both of these issues and shows how superficial our debates on national security have become.

For more on this topic, please see:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here