Senior House Republicans cast blame on the Obama administration for escalating violence in Libya as the U.S. evacuated its embassy on Saturday and shut down diplomatic operations in Tripoli.
Although he described the move to evacuate as “the right call,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce (R-CA) said the Obama administration brought this on by failing to stabilize the region.
“Unfortunately, this development was predictable, given the lack of direction and leadership from this Administration since it ousted Muammar Gaddafi,” Royce said in a statement. “Our diplomatic absence will make the hard task of achieving political stability in Libya even harder. When security conditions permit the return of our diplomats, the Administration must give them a new charge to help end the fighting and move Libya forward.”
House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-MI) said the escalating violence “is what happens when the United States is not engaged and lacks a clear foreign policy that includes strong U.S. leadership,” according to The Hill.
Not all Republicans pointed the finger at the president, though.
House Armed Services Committee Chair Buck McKeon (R-CA) took a different approach, thanking U.S. personnel and wishing them safety.
“As Americans evacuate from Tripoli, I want to express my deep gratitude for the US forces who have been on standby alert there. My thoughts and prayers are with all Americans in Libya. I wish them a safe return, and for the safety of American troops watching over them,” McKeon’s full statement read.