As tens of thousands of Libyans look to leave their homeland or have already fled, the United Nations on Tuesday called for aid in response to the crisis, and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates discussed the kind of help that America was prepared to offer as the news that he was sending two warships to the African nation hit the wires. –KA

Los Angeles Times:

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday he was dispatching two warships and 400 Marines as a humanitarian response to the crisis in Libya, but he cautioned that U.S. military intervention should be carefully considered.

“The kinds of options that have been talked about in the press and elsewhere also have their own consequences,” Gates said on Tuesday, referring to calls for a no-fly zone and other possible steps to halt attacks by Moammar Kadafi’s forces on rebels. “They need to be considered very carefully.”

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