Obama strongly defends U.S. military operations in Libya

16:32, March 29, 2011      

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about Libya at the National Defense University in Washington, Monday, March 28, 2011. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

President Barack Obama on Monday delivered a major speech on the administration policy toward Libya, claiming the U.S. military intervention was to avoid civilian casualties in the North African country instead of "regime change".

Facing mounting domestic and international criticism for his ambiguous military policy in Libya recently, Obama's speech was aimed at easing the criticism.

At present, how the military intervention will end remains unknowable at this stage, experts said, and critics fault Obama for not providing an outline of what comes next.

In his 27-minute speech delivered at National Defense University, Obama defended U.S. involvement in Libya, saying the intervention was to safeguard "interests and values" of the United States.

"When our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That is what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks," he said.

"The United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a no-fly zone with our allies and partners," he said.

Meanwhile, Obama said broadenning the military mission in Libya to include "regime change" would be a mistake.

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