U.S. Sen. Mark Udall largely approved of President Obama's speech Monday night on U.S. military action in Libya, saying he agrees with the reasoning behind getting the armed forces involved.
He said Moammar Gadhafi gave the international community no choice but to step in by threatening an attack on Benghazi, the rebel capital and first city to fall to the rebellion that began Feb. 15.
"We needed to step in to avoid mass slaughter," said Udall, D-Colo.
But Udall, who's a member of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees, wasn't happy that the president didn't provide details on the costs, saying he's asked repeatedly for that information.
Udall added that he is "resolute" against sending American ground troops to Libya. He said he would have liked to hear more from Obama on how long the United States will maintain its involvement in Libya.
Obama, in his speech, announced that NATO would take command over the Libya operation Wednesday but didn't offer a timeline for when the conflict would end.
"I do still have concerns about our capacity to make this a limited engagement and meet our objectives," Udall said.
He said there are questions about what an ongoing stalemate between Gadhafi and the rebels would mean to an already-unstable region, as well as concern about whether a replacement regime would be one the United States could support. He said the focus should be on non-military action.
But, he said, he doesn't believe the president moved too fast or too slow in deciding on military action. He said this country, because of its military capabilities, had an obligation to the world, and to itself, to act.
"The president was smart, he was strategic," he said.
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said the involvement of the U.S. military averted a "humanitarian crisis."
"As the United States begins to scale back its role in the conflict, a broad, NATO-based coalition must now assume control of the mission," he said. "Moving forward, the responsibility of securing a 'No Fly Zone' and protecting innocent civilians must be shared by a broad coalition of allies including Arab partners."