Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Ames, says President Obama has failed to answer a number of questions about the U.S. military mission in Libya. “How do we get out of this? What are the costs? What’s the end game? How do we declare victory? All of those questions are unanswered,” Latham said.

Earlier this week, President Obama said the United States will remain involved in Libya for as long as Mammar Gadhafi remains a threat to his people. He added that the U.S. will hand off lead responsibilities to other countries within “days and not weeks.” Latham said he’s upset Obama authorized U.S. missile attacks without consulting leadership in Congress first.

“While it technically is legal for the president to engage in this type of situation, it’s normally made when the United States is under some kind of threat itself – which in this case, it really is not,” Latham said. Obama said the U.S. has a national interest in preventing government-sponsored atrocities and the attacks on Gadhafi’s air defenses “have already saved lives.”

Latham questions what the U.S. has to gain from Libya and what the cost will be for taxpayers. “They’re shooting off all these Tomahawk missiles at about a million-and-a-half dollars a piece,” Latham said. “There’s a lot of unanswered questions. You could say, ‘is it because of oil?” That’s probably why we would care at all about Libya. But, the fact of the matter is, it’s only about two-percent of the world’s oil production.”

Latham made his comments on Wednesday during a stop in Webster City. Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday – questioning the costs of the Libyan conflict to taxpayers.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City