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Libya war turns US hawks into doves

Republican leaders demanded a written justification of military involvement in Libya from President Obama yesterday as the hawkish party shows signs of losing its appetite for war.

The White House prepared a 40-page document explaining the cost, legality and goal of the Nato mission in response to demands by John Boehner, the Speaker of the House.

He had warned that members in Congress fear the president had exceeded his authority by unilaterally approving military operations.

Objections to Mr Obama's handling of the three-month campaign in north Africa have been matched by growing ambivalence among Republican presidential hopefuls about the long-running effort to stabilise Afghanistan.

Mitt Romney, the front-runner in the race to compete against Mr Obama in 2012, suggested this week that he favoured winding down the war quickly. "It's time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we can -- as soon as our generals think it's okay," he said. "One lesson we learned in Afghanistan is that Americans cannot fight another nation's war of independence."

Jon Huntsman, another White House hopeful, went further, calling for a US troop presence of just 15,000 in Afghanistan, compared to the 100,000 serving today.

"The very expensive boots on the ground may be something that is not critical for our national security needs, nor something we can afford at this point ," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent