A Five Point Checklist By Which To Judge President Obama's Speech on Libya

March 28, 2011 at 6:46am

Tonight, the President will address the nation about our military engagement in Libya. Here is a five point checklist by which to judge President Obama's speech.

1. Does President Obama cite working with Congress more than working with the Arab League or the United Nations?

2. Does President Obama define replacing Qaddafi as our clear and explicit goal? Having said "Qaddafi needs to go" that has to be the goal of this war.

3. Does President Obama pledge to send a request to Congress to pay for the cost of the war so our men and women in uniform are not asked to take it out of an already stretched budget while they are still engaged in two other wars and several small campaigns?

4. Does President Obama acknowledge the danger of Al Qaeda allies among the anti-Qaddafi forces and pledge to work for a moderate replacement government without extremist factions?

5. Does President Obama describe clearly the coalition command structure, the American role, and an allied commitment to defeat Qaddafi?

If the President does these things it will be a powerful speech fitting the role of a commander in chief.  If not, the President will once again send a signal that he is a spectator-in-chief with no clear strategy or vision for how to keep Americans safe in an increasingly dangerous world.