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GOP Split Over U.S. Role in Libya and Afghanistan

            The ever-present isolationist strain in the Republican Party grew even more apparent in the face of the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama's policy towards Libya. One side of the Republican Party, led by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other congressional leaders, argue that the U.S. involvement in NATO's bombing campaign now violates the War Powers Act after hitting the 90-day mark on June 19th. In order to force President Obama to revoke any U.S. aid, the Republicans suggest cutting off money for the war when the House reviews the annual Pentagon spending bill later this week. Many of the Republican Party presidential candidates demand that the U.S. quit fighting in Libya and question the depth of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. However, the opposing side of the Republican Party criticizes the growing isolationist agenda within the party, resulting in a widening division among the once unified party on foreign policy issues (Parsons). .
             The controversy sparked just after a NATO airstrike went tragically astray, killing nine people and injuring 18. The air raid missed the intended target of a military missile site and struck an apartment building, crushing residents under the debris who were asleep inside. Several other homes on the quiet street were also damaged (McDonnell). .
             "NATO regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives and takes great care in conducting strikes against a regime determined to use violence against its own citizens," said Canadian air force Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard (McDonnell). .
             A United Nations Security Council mandate ordered NATO to bomb Libya to protect civilians during the rebellion against Moammar Kadafi's four-decade rule. Even after 11,500 NATO sorties, Kadafi's government has yet to relinquish control of the capital and much of western Libya, leaving only the eastern third of the nation and several pockets in the west to the Rebels (McDonnell).

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