Some critics have accused President Barack Obama of responding too slowly and cautiously to the unrest in Libya, where hundreds of people have allegedly been killed because the country's dictator refuses to relinquish his power.
Embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi has already unleashed violent attacks against rebel forces in Libya, and he has threatened more strikes if the United States or NATO forces intervene in the North African nation's affairs. Although the Federal government has frozen $30 billion in assets controlled by Gadhafi and his family, human-rights organizations have reported that hundreds of Libyans have been killed in the conflict.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the U.S. is "preparing for contingencies" while working with the European Union and the United Nations. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has confirmed that two Navy vessels and 400 Marines have been shipped to the Mediterranean Sea near Libya to assist in potential evacuation or humanitarian missions.
In a recent column for the Orlando Sentinel, international law professor Jeremy Levitt said that the Obama administration has been far too cautious about the recent uprisings in foreign countries. Levitt said that the government should take more action to ensure that previously contained anti-American forces do not emerge during these chaotic transitions of power.
"The bottom line is that the Obama administration does not appear to have a viable foreign policy toward Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, let alone Africa. The apparent 'go along to get along' approach is reactionary and ill-conceived," Levitt wrote.