The Washington Times - March 21, 2011, 04:51PM

Add Virginia Sen. Jim Webb to the list of Democrats questioning President Barack Obama’s decision to intervene militarily in Libya.

In an interview Monday on CNN, Mr. Webb said Mr. Obama had to be far more forthcoming in explaining the U.S. interest in the conflict and the role of American forces in the fighting.


“I really don’t believe that we have an obligation to get involved in every single occurrence in that part of the world,” he said, “and this issue is of much more economic importance, quite frankly, to Britain and France.”

He added that “Libyan oil, even though it’s only 2 percent of the world’s output, is a very light oil. It’s much more easily refined and the factories in Europe are not geared up for some of the heavier crude that comes out of Saudi Arabia, for instance. They have much more of an interest in terms of conducting military operations than we do. We don’t have to get involved in every one of these [conflicts].”

The Virginia Democrat, a former Navy secretary and a Vietnam veteran, expressed frustration with the administration’s decision to take military action without any formal debate in Congress.

“This isn’t the way that our system is supposed to work,” said Mr. Webb, who announced earlier this year he was not running for a second term next year.