Let's Stay Out of Libya

Wesley Clark: It doesn't meet the test for military intervention
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2011 10:52 AM CST
An anti-Gadhafi rebel fires an RPG against pro-Gadhafi warplanes Saturday.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

(Newser) – Retired Gen. Wesley Clark takes a long look at the pros and cons of having the US intervene in Libya and thinks the answer is clear: Stay out of it, America. Even a no-fly is too dangerous, he argues in the Washington Post. It probably wouldn't be enough to force Moammar Gadhafi from power; instead, "it is a slick way to slide down the slope to deeper intervention" and toward a conflict destined to become America vs. Gadhafi. The humanitarian argument is compelling, but Libya actually pales in comparison to places such as Darfur.

In Libya, "we would once again be committing our military to force regime change in a Muslim land, even though we can't quite bring ourselves to say it," he writes. "So let's recognize that the basic requirements for successful intervention simply don't exist, at least not yet: We don't have a clearly stated objective, legal authority, committed international support or adequate on-the-scene military capabilities, and Libya's politics hardly foreshadow a clear outcome." (Meanwhile, it's been another bad day for the rebels. Click for that.)

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