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The World

March 23, 2011

Libya mission gaining, as US looks to cede control

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

The Pentagon said two dozen more Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from U.S. and British submarines late Monday and early Tuesday against Libyan targets, raising the total to 161 aimed at disabling Gadhafi's air defenses.

Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III said Libyan ground troops will be more vulnerable as the coalition grows in size and capability, but he declined to provide details of future targeting. He spoke to reporters at the Pentagon from aboard his command ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

Several members of Congress, including a number from Obama's own party, were increasingly questioning the wisdom of U.S. involvement.

"We began a military action at the same time that we don't have a clear diplomatic policy, or a clear foreign policy when it comes to what's going on in Libya," said Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., adding that the Obama administration lacks a clear understanding of rebel forces trying to oust Gadhafi, who has ruled for 42 years.

"Do we know what their intentions would be? Would they be able to govern if they were to succeed? And the answer is we don't really know," Webb said.

___

Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn in El Salvador and Pauline Jelinek, Donna Cassata, Bradley Klapper and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.

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