CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

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

  • 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: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


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

For more from the same column, click here