It is not easy to find the right balance between our relationships with sometimes repressive and always undemocratic (in the narrow sense of voting) regimes in the Middle East and the dissidents among their citizens who criticize them. But statecraft and diplomacy are the right tools not military force (e.g. drones). Defense Secretary Gates said as much when cautioning against imposing a no fly zone in Libya a week before we under took them. Now the pundits are chattering that we have not done enough. Gaddafi is still there. President Obama is inarticulately and ineffectively trying to resist further sliding down the slippery slope to another messy engagement with another Muslim country. But the odds are against him. When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn.
The Washington Post published two thoughtful op-eds on the subject today that are well worth reading. The first by Michael Chertoff and Michael V. Hayden is called: “What happens after Gaddafi is removed”. The other by Sarah Sewall and Anthony Zinni is called: “The military interventions we don’t plan for–those to protect civilians”