- The Washington Times - Monday, March 7, 2011

White House press secretary Jay Carney on Monday said deploying ground troops is not at the “top of the list” when it comes to potential responses to the ongoing violence in Libya, but he said it’s one of many options being considered.

“No option has been removed from the table, but … ground troops is not sort of top of the list at this point,” Mr. Carney told reporters.

President Obama has said he wants to ensure the United States has full capacity to act if the crackdown on rebels by Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi erupts into a broader humanitarian crisis, but top administration officials have stressed in recent days that military operations such as enforcing a “no-fly zone” over the teetering nation would amount to an act of war.

Mr. Carney wouldn’t elaborate on how the United States would go about implementing a potential no-fly zone, which he said is still being considered, and whether Mr. Obama would want approval from the U.N. Security Council in addition to NATO.

The spokesman also refused to comment on whether the United States has asked Saudi Arabia to arm Libyan rebels, saying merely that the issue of military assistance to anti-Gadhafi forces is “one of the range of options that is being considered.”