This list of points about the Libyan War is very shallow and somewhat incoherent and does not take the place od a longer essay style post later on in this process. But it is a start in thinking about this conflict in this blog:
1. This attack has given America the chance to prove that this country can and will operate in the United Nations and in the world of geopolitics and can use military force in this period of change and unrest in the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab world. By involving ourselves in the war on Libya we offset some of the impression of weakness which is bound to come from the failure of a long-time allied government in Egypt. This in itself may not justify all the risks of this operation but it is a valid geopolitical interest and motive.
2. It is true that transliterating his name from Arabic to English is the most inconsistent thing in diplomatic and journalistic history but whether one call him Gaddafi, Gaddaffi, Qadhafi, Qaddaffi, Khadafi, Khaddaffi, Kadaffi or something else this leader has funded and supported terrorism and international crime. The Lockerbie case of the airliner bombing is the most high-profile of many instances and the bringing home of the convicted undertaker of the offense brings all of this drama of violence into the present. When he was young few people were more committed enemies of the Western powers. That may not justify pursuing this exact course of action but it is a real reason to seek the defeat and ouster of this Libyan Premier.
3. The United States has a large military and to really justify that we have to be willing to use that force when it is right to do so. The war in Libya at the current level is a chance to keep the forces occupied.
4. The lack of investment in real embassy culture throughout the world and North Africa by the United States is very evident right now in how poorly we know the rebel opposition to the government in Libya. This is true despite the fact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been saying that the administration supports and wants a model of ambassador to each country being the State Department’s CEO in that country. America needs more investment in human intelligence, community relations, and regional expertise operating out of every embassy it has, Morocco and Egypt should have US ambassadors whose staffs can give lectures on the rebels.
5. By launching the strikes in the way it did the coalition may have been showing concern for the civilians in Libya. However, it also pushed the government of Libya into a use-it-or- lose- it situation and spurred them to attack cities more vigorously. Civilian deaths have in effect been encouraged by the policy path we have chosen.
6. Libya’s leader is not the same kind of life-long and thorough-going thug that Saddam Hussein was nor is he the leader of a government as cruel and backwardly progressive as the Taliban. We are fighting a competent, professional and functional family of leaders. This will mean it will be harder to make ourselves look like the good guys when mistakes occur.
7. Libya is very close to Europe. This cuts in all directions. However, it means the conflict can more easily spill into Europe than wars fought very far away.
8. It does seem that this opposition has armed some groups and individuals more radical and hostile to American interests than the Libyan premier. I t is reported that several arms stockpiles have found their way into Al Qaeda’s hands. This creates new regional risks.
9. Our political and social doctrine is such that we cannot address most of our real interests in countries which we fight over. Thus we have created a political philosophy which is out of contact with what form and concepts of winning would suit our needs and constitution, This is among our greatest sources of social decline.
10. Obama has set himself at war with his most powerful foreign endorser. This will give him the distance he needs from these North African forces before the 2012 election. The Libyan War also helps the UK overcome shame about the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Face-saving wars can be necessary but they are dangerous.
11. This is a lasting war no matter what happens in the short-term, Both the end game and our interest are not clearly known.
12. Libya is being ravaged by this war. Rebuilding in Libya will be a major crisis of opportunity and danger for Italy and at this economic time that is a really big deal.