Kerry to Hold U.S. Senate Hearings on Libyan Mission, Aide Says

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry will hold hearings “in the near future” on the military intervention in Libya by the U.S. and allies, a committee aide said.

Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, “has been been traveling in the region” during this week’s congressional recess “to get information firsthand from our allies,” spokesman Frederick Jones said in a statement.

“Senator Kerry understands the importance and complexity of our role in protecting the people of Libya and the committee will hold public hearings in the near future,” Jones said.

Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the top Republican on the foreign relations panel, yesterday sent a letter to Kerry requesting hearings on Libya as U.S. and allied warplanes continued to strike Muammar Qaddafi’s ground forces there.

“The administration has not adequately defined the U.S. strategic interest in Libya or adequately articulated how the conflict ends,” Lugar said in the letter.

Jones said the Libyan situation “was explored in depth” during a March 17 committee hearing when Under Secretary of State William Burns testified about citizen uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.

The coalition’s mission began March 19.

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