Libya ‘Not a Vital National Interest to the United States,’ Defense Secretary Gates Says

March 28, 2011 05:51

“No, no,” the Gates replied to ABC’s Jake Tapper. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest — and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about

By Susan Jones at


“Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?” Defense Secretary Robert Gates was asked Sunday on the ABC News program “This Week.” “No, no,” the Gates replied to ABC’s Jake Tapper.

Gates said there was another consideration the administration took into account in using military force against the Gaddafi regime — the revolutions both east and west of Libya, in Egypt and Tunisia: “So you had a potentially significantly destabilizing event taking place in Libya that put at risk potentially the revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, appearing with Gates on “This Week” with Gates, added that every decision the administration could have made regarding Libya had “plusses and minuses.”


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