In international relations,

In international relations, there should be no such thing as the short term.  Our actions have consequences that are often remembered for generations, both in immediate results and simmering resentments.

Yes, I would agree with that generally speaking, but the reason why I hastily qualified my statement by ending with "in the short term" is that the military action was justified to halt the offensive on Benghazi.

I think that there will be enough scrutiny internationally that as this moves forward it will not be possible for the coalition to escalate the conflict. They will not be providing close air cover for the insurgents for example, and I think this is also correct. Regime change will and should be the problem of the Libyan people. It's very possible that Gaddafi remains in power after this, but limited in his capabilities.

I really don't think the policy need be and more complicated than that. If there is no other agenda than to limit the scope of this civil war, i.e. make it a fair fight, then there is every reason for me to believe that it can improve the perception of the UN and yes, also improve the image of American power and how it is used. Don't panic. Yet.

 

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