U.S. Lacks Leverage To Pressure Libya Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had tough words Tuesday for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, saying the violence against protesters is unacceptable. But unlike in Egypt, the United States has little influence in Libya.
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U.S. Lacks Leverage To Pressure Libya

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U.S. Lacks Leverage To Pressure Libya

U.S. Lacks Leverage To Pressure Libya

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MICHELE KELEMEN: Still, Secretary Clinton says the international community is coming together on the issue and speaking with one voice.

HILLARY CLINTON: We join the international community in strongly condemning the violence, as we've received reports of hundreds killed and many more injured. This bloodshed is completely unacceptable.

KELEMEN: State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley wouldn't rule that out down the road, but says for now, the U.S. is focused on trying to evacuate Americans. He also suggested that U.S. influence in Libya is limited.

CROWLEY: We want to see the bloodshed stop. Our calls have been very clear and very compelling. I don't know that we can do any more at this point.

KELEMEN: And it's not just the U.S. that lacks leverage in Libya these days, according to Rob Malley of the International Crisis Group. His organization is suggesting a series of steps that the U.S. should take together with the U.N., the Arab League and others if any outside pressure is to work.

ROB MALLEY: As they put pressure on Gadhafi to stop the mad violence that he's engaged in, people also have to be thinking about the day after.

KELEMEN: Unlike in Egypt, where there were institutions like the military that could take over the transition, Malley says Gadhafi's system of governance is all about him and his tribal alliances. He didn't even trust the army, Malley says, though Gadhafi came to power in a military coup.

MALLEY: Gadhafi has been everything, and he hasn't developed and Libya hasn't developed those institutions that could survive his fall. So once he goes, everything might go, and that's going to be a very, very difficult and very different kind of transition - if it came to pass, if it came to that - a very different kind of transition to manage and a much greater challenge for the Libyans themselves.

KELEMEN: Michele Kelemen, NPR News, Washington.

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