Begin with "why".  As in, why are we there?

At a minimum, you might think the U.S. is in Libya because our national security is somehow at stake… but that's not the reason.

"No, I don't think it's a vital interest for the United States, but we clearly have interests there and it's part of a region, which is a vital interest for the United States," Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said.

"What."  What do we want?

 Is our goal to protect the insurgents in Libya, or to help them overthrow Moammar Gadhafi?  They're not the same, and the choice the president makes could be critical.  

"When."  When do we get out of Libya?

Days, not weeks?  Weeks, not months?  Months, not years?

As of now, we don't know.

"This operation has already saved many lives, but the danger is far from over.  As long as the Gadhafi regime threatens its people and defies the United Nations, we must remain vigilant and focused," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Now, "who", who's in charge?

The president repeatedly points out it won't be us for long. But if our cause is just, then why is it so important for us not to be in front?

And "where," where does this lead?

Libya isn't the only place with problems.  What about Syria, where another dictator is killing citizens?

Has the president backed himself into a corner?

Are we, once again, the world's policeman?

"We can't just simply stand by with empty words," President Barack Obama said.

The president's words tonight cannot be empty. 

The nation wants and deserves a full explanation of where America stands in Libya, and how long we intend to stand there.

I'm Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.

(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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