White House and Department of Defense statements from the past 48 hours suggest different levels of interest in ousting Col. Muamar Gaddafi:
- "We still believe that Qaddafi has lost his legitimacy to lead and must go." - White House Spokesman Tommy Vietor (published March 20).
- "Certainly the goals of this campaign right now are limited, and it isn't, it isn't about seeing him [Gaddafi] go. It's about supporting the United Nations resolution..." - CJCS Adm. Michael Mullen
- "It is US policy that Gaddafi has to go." - President Obama
No, I don't worry too much about mission creep. The military mission here is pretty clear -- it is very clear, frankly, and what is expected of us to do: to establish this no-fly zone; to protect civilians; to cause the -- you know, to get the withdrawal of regime ground forces out of Benghazi." - AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham