Today, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) reiterated his call for Libya to repay the nearly $1 billion cost of the recent U.S. military intervention that ultimately led to the country's liberation from the 42-year rule of dictator Muammar Gadhafi.
"The United States cannot afford to pay the price to win everyone's freedom across the world," said Rohrabacher during today's House Foreign Affairs Full Committee hearing on U.S. troop deployment to Central Africa.
U.S. officials have confirmed a Predator drone did in fact fire on the convoy carrying Gadhafi as he was fleeing his hometown of Sirte. Combined with attacks by French aircraft, the convoy was incapacitated, allowing the rebels on the ground to capture and subsequently kill, the deposed dictator.
"It's a good thing when the U.S. helps people win their freedom, but we can't afford to pay for it ourselves," Rohrabacher said. "Whether it's countries like Libya or Uganda, albeit worthy causes, we just can't afford it. The local people need to be willing to repay our costs at least.
"I think what we decided to do in Libya was a good thing as long as they are paying the cost, but if the American people have to bear the burden, that is not a good investment for the United States. We just don't have the money to give away like that."
Rohrabacher has suggested Libyan oil revenue can be used to help repay the United States. Libya sits on the largest oil reserves in Africa. The U.S. has also frozen some $30 billion in assets of the Gadhafi regime, only a fraction of which would be needed to repay American war costs.
Rep. Rohrabacher is the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.