In an op-ed published by the National Review on April 21, 2011, Mitt Romney criticized President Obama for his action in Libya, quoting neocon right wing reactionary (and former UN ambassador), John Bolton, who predicted the failure of the mission to remove Qaddafi from power even as the president had restricted the use of military force to “the limited objective of protecting civilians”:
“It is apparent that our military is engaged in much more than enforcing a no-fly zone. What we are watching in real time is another example of mission creep and mission muddle. In an op-ed in today’s Boston Herald, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton rightly notes that Obama has set himself up for “massive strategic failure” by demanding Qaddafi’s ouster “while restricting military force to the limited objective of protecting civilians.” Military action cannot be under-deliberated and ad hoc. The president owes it to the American people and Congress to immediately explain his new Libya mission and its strategic rationale.”
The neocons weren't upset about an action which could have cost American lives. No. They were upset because President Obama sought to prevent a genocide even as he restricted military action to defending civilians. Obama's refusal to jump into Libya and just take over by force was derided by every neocon in the warmongering Republican Party. Happily, Pres. Obama remained firm, and the Libyan action was a rousing success.