With fears mounting about a stalemate in Libya, the Obama administration is facing pressure from Congress to reclaim a lead role in the fight and take unprecedented measures to force Muammar al-Qaddafi from power.
The pressure is coming most prominently from a coterie of hawkish lawmakers, who are echoing concerns expressed by President Obama’s top military advisers — that with both sides digging in, the conflict could become a protracted struggle with no obvious exit for the United States.
The administration announced a significant policy shift Thursday, authorizing Predator drone strikes for urban areas in Libya. Some lawmakers want to see more. They are calling on the administration to formally recognize the Libyan opposition’s transitional council, arm the rebels and unleash U.S. air power.