Action At Last: What is at Stake in Libya?

Just as Western hesitancy, dithering, and some bad judgment appeared to have  destroyed what promised to be a historic alignment of the Arab Spring and of the Western democracies’ values and interests, the French and British resolution in the U.N. Security Council, with the support of America, has turned the crisis of despair into an opportunity of achievement. 

The Security Council resolution not only authorized a “no-fly” zone over Libya, but it also authorized the use of force to protect civilian populations.  The vote was 10 in favor and 5 abstentions, which included Germany, China, India, and Russia.  It was a major diplomatic success for France, Britain and America which supported the key addition of action to protect populations. However, the resolution banned the use of troops on the ground, and did not specify authority for “regime change” as an objective.  Secretary Hillary Clinton in Tunisia has been talking strong about Gaddafi going. What remains in question is if and how the combined forces of the Libyan rebels, Arab nations, and the Western nations participating will rid the world of Gaddafi and his regime from power. Continue reading