Saturday, March 19, 2011

War, American-style

It looks like the US, with a small assist from the UK, dropped over a hundred cruise missiles into Libya to soften up the air defenses for the coming no-fly-zone. Reports of coalition partners taking point seem to be wildly exaggerated. As always, the US has the assets and takes on the lion's share of the fighting/shooting/bombing.

Panning back a bit, I want to point to Marc Lynch's excellent piece on the passage of the UNSC resolution:

One might think that the disastrous post-war trajectories of Iraq and Afghanistan would have forever ended such an approach to military interventions, but here we are. Has anyone really seriously thought through the role the U.S. or international community might be expected to play should Qaddafi fall? Or what steps will follow should the No Fly Zone and indirect intervention not succeed in driving Qaddafi from power? No, there's no time for that... there never is. For now, I will be hoping, deeply and fervently, that the Libyan regime quickly crumbles in the face of the international community's actions.

Marc was an early, though cautious, advocate of the US and/or international community taking a role in Libya. But his questions are sobering, and I'm still unconvinced that the US has answers.

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