Libya and the Drums of War

Once again the drums of war are beating. President Obama has said that “President Gaddafi must go” with no obvious plan for removing him. Indeed, we would all like to see him go and it would be painful to watch him attach his own citizens. But many distasteful things happen in life that we can do nothing about or choice to do nothing about for reasons of prudence. We are not (yet) at war with Libya. Libya has not attacked us or our interests. We would be extraordinarily foolish to attack Libya.

We should support the principles our nation was founded upon and operates under. These include “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We should support in appropriate ways those in the world, including Libya, who share these values. This does not include war or measures that would suck us down a slippery slope to war.

Two recent Washington Post articles sound the right warnings and ask the right questions. They are well worth reading: Anne Applebaum “The Arab World Isn’t Clamoring for Our Help” and George Will “Then What?”



About wcoats

Dr. Warren L. Coats specializes in advising central banks on monetary policy, and in the development of their capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy. He is retired from the International Monetary Fund, where, as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department, he led missions to over twenty countries. Before then, he served as Visiting Economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to the World Bank, and was Assistant Prof of Economics at the Univ. of Virginia from 1970-75. Most recently he was Senior Monetary Policy Advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq; an IMF consultant to the central banks of Afghanistan, Kenya and Zimbabwe; and a Deloitte/USAID advisor to the Government of South Sudan. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Cayman Financial Review and until the end of 2013 was a member of the IMF program team for Afghanistan. His most recent book is entitled "One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
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