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August 22nd, 2011
05:42 AM ET

Talk Back: Was U.S. involvement in Libya worth it?

Thanks in large part to the intervention of NATO forces, rebel fighters appear to be on the brink of ending Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year rule of Libya this morning, six months after they set out to topple the regime.

Although Libya is celebrating the end of the rule of the cruel dictator, the reaction in the United States is tempered by the fact that our involvement in the conflict was highly controversial.

Liberal Congressman Dennis Kucinich accused President Obama of "an impeachable offense" because Mr. Obama moved forward on Libya without congressional approval, while Republican Senator John McCain said President Obama didn't move fast enough to prevent a long, drawn-out fight for freedom in the country.

Talk Back: Was U.S. involvement in Libya worth it?

Let us know what you think. Your answer may be read on this morning's broadcast.

Filed under: AM Talk Back
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Dan

    Short answer: yes it was worth it. Long answer: If the US has taken a more active role, we'd have risked a backlash from the Arab world as we entered a war with many tribal allegiances. Now, the US should have the opportuntiy to nurture a friendly government in the region. While there's no way to put a price tag on that, it undoubtedly surpasses the money we've spent thus far in helping the provisional government and their troops.

    August 22, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  2. mike sey

    Only the future will tell whether it was worth it. However, the conditions now exist for a grand experiment and test of Republican/ Tea-Party theories about little or no government.

    August 22, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  3. Haythem Hammour

    well the US spent trillion on unjustified war in Iraq, i don't see any harm in spend 1.1 Billion in a country that is really in need, and willing to payback from the billions that they already have in the US!

    August 22, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  4. Frank - Arizona

    IF there is no consideration of this “bigger picture” THEN the answer is yes. It was a simple moral issue to help the people. That said, it still might result in a worse situation for the U.S.A. depending on how things play out.

    The real fundamental question is "WHAT NEXT"?
    That answer will determine if it was worthwhile.

    IF Libya can establish a functional democratic form of government then "Yes it was worth it".
    On the other hand if Libya slips into anarchy or a radical Muslim jihadist run State then the “No it was a big mistake”.

    Libya has a difficult time ahead. There is no clear leadership of the “rebels”. Their main unifying goal has been accomplished… get rid of Qadaffi (Khadafi). So what is next for Libya? We have more often than not saw one despot replaced by another, sometimes worse despot.

    August 22, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  5. Bill

    Consider the "what if" in terms of past history. Pol Pot, Adolph Hitler could US involvement have saved millions of lives. Yes it was worth.

    August 22, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  6. Karen

    Absolutly. Karma if nothing else. We must take a stand when oppressed peple fight for democracy.

    August 22, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  7. Teresa greenwood

    Now really, you need to remember our own American Revolution. If France, Spain and the Dutch did not help us would WE be the same today? Yes, it is always worth it. No matter what.

    August 22, 2011 at 7:21 am |
  8. jim

    of course it was worth it. none of our soldiers killed, no soldiers on the ground, no exit strategy needed. and i doubt the overall cost- our soldiers, sailors, ships, aircraft are in action, flying sorties, etc., all across the world 24/7 anyway...why is it any more expensive in the area near Libya?

    August 22, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  9. ben klein

    Difficult to answer without knowing how much money our country is spending/and has spent on Libya while we discuss cuts in the US.

    August 22, 2011 at 7:01 am |
  10. Maryam

    Its worth it when we see Libya liberated, however, if America is going to continue "policing" the world, they need to be consistent. Thousands of people are being massacred by Bashar al Assad yet the US does not get involved. Why? Also, the term "rebels" is an offensive and incorrect term for the Libyan LIBERATORS.

    August 22, 2011 at 6:48 am |
  11. Ted Smythe

    No, let the people of other countries defend themselves unles they can afford to pay the bill to give themselves freedom.
    When are the rebels going to take our own President out of power !
    He has killed enough of us in the United States.
    Hope he is enjoying his vacation while our troops fight for others freedom.

    August 22, 2011 at 6:34 am |
  12. John

    If you compare it with ousting another ruthless dictator, Saddam, definately yes.
    America incurred several thousand casulties in that conflict and the cost of it currently equates to about $3,000 per every man, woman and child in America, and the cost is rising. The cost of ousting this ruthless dictator equates to $3.67 per man, woman and child in America with, more importantly, zero American forces lost.

    August 22, 2011 at 6:31 am |
  13. Kevin

    Why don't you talk about some real news that affects all of us a lot more. Like the economy. Like how the rich are getting away with paying less & less & n ot creating any jobs here in America. Like the Americans who are working are working longer & harder for a paycheck that buys less & less. It's you people & your laziness or not wanting to offend the boss who are partly responsible for the problems in America.

    August 22, 2011 at 6:29 am |
  14. Stacy Merrell

    A billion dollars is very little money for how many thousands of people to have freedom. I don't know what the future for their country is or whether it will benefit us but if we value freedom that much, one billion seems very cheap to me.

    August 22, 2011 at 6:27 am |
  15. JJ

    let me think about it......NO. why would blowing 1.1B be worth it for people we don't need to even be talking too. There have been plenty of country's that have had tyrants whats the point in invading this country or that country its none of our business. By the way they HATE US because of the amount of innocent people we have killed there.

    August 22, 2011 at 6:23 am |
  16. Sharon Bogney

    The fact that America's involvement has resulted in the ousting of the tyrant; and the fact that Libya is a nation that still produces significant oil that will profit this nation. I think that America's involvement was not just humanitarian but also profitable; therefore it was absolutely worth it.

    August 22, 2011 at 6:21 am |
  17. Kyle Dietterich

    YES! It was absolutely worth it. Qadaffi was killing innocent protestors who wanted nothing more than a better life. That reason alone our involvement was justified. I will quote Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

    August 22, 2011 at 6:18 am |
  18. MeLoN

    No it wasn't and the costs haven't stopped yet. The US will spend billions more in Libya and in a couple of months the ungrateful people of Libya will have forgotten that the American people has helped him and start to kill Americans. Obama needs to stop spending more money in Libya that we can't afford.

    August 22, 2011 at 6:09 am |
  19. Avery

    Absolutely not. It was an illegal act of war never authorized by Congress. America should not go seeking monsters abroad and steer clear of these foreign civil wars. What do we know about the rebels and the leaders that will replace Gadhafi?

    August 22, 2011 at 5:49 am |