Monday, August 22, 2011

The Libyan Situation

CNN has live updates of the changing situation. The key questions right now are, where is Gaddafi, and will he accept defeat? According to reports his son, a leading spokesman for the regime, was captured Sunday and most resistance in the capital has collapsed. It looks like the rebels have won. But does Gaddafi retain enough military strength and support to continue fighting? Ideally he'll be captured, killed or flee the country and go in to exile.

If we assume that Gaddafi is finished and the rebels will be able to establish a new government, that raises more questions for the U.S. First, when will our involvement end? Will we, as usual, decide that we need to give Libya huge amounts of aid to help rebuild the country? And second, what type of government will emerge? In my opinion our intervention was unnecessary and not in the U.S. interest. However, if a decent friendly or even neutral government takes over, one that removes Libya from the column of nations we need to worry about, the operation will have achieved positive results. Although it isn't hard to do better than Gaddafi, it is unfortunately also possible that the new government will be dominated by Islamists, or be in other ways as bad or worse as the dictator it replaces. Other than just supporting the rebels, I'm not sure what exactly we are doing to try and produce a positive outcome. Right now we are in wait and see mode.


  1. If I were to guess (and I guess I'm guessing) the government is probably going to try and get the UN assist in elections and try to establish democratic (relatively) political parties.

  2. If you had to choose: taken alive or killed on the spot, which one?

  3. Unless I was certain I was going to be tortured to death, I'd go with being taken alive.