UN's Libya Decision Carries Huge Risks
Let's just hope Gadhafi crumbles quickly: Marc Lynch
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2011 1:58 PM CDT
A Libyan rebel poses near a tank captured from Libyan government forces south of Benghazi.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

(Newser) – Marc Lynch hopes "fervently" that the UN's decision on Libya causes Moammar Gadhafi's regime to fall quickly. It could "reverse the flagging fortunes of the Arab uprisings" and put both the US and international community on the right side of the protest movement, he writes in Foreign Policy. But don't underestimate the risks, he warns, especially if the "intervention degenerates into a long quagmire of air strikes, grinding street battles, and growing pressure for the introduction of outside ground forces."

The problem is that "Arab support for the intervention is not nearly as deep as it seems and will not likely survive an extended war," he writes. If Libyan civilians start getting killed by foreign troops, the current anti-Gadhafi narrative "could change quickly into an Iraq-like rage against Western imperialism." Gadhafi's quick declaration of a cease-fire suggests some kind of political settlement could be in the offing. "Let's hope." (Click to read about worries that Gadhafi's move is just a ploy.)