The Goldilocks "War"

Gallup's latest poll on Libya reveals that, for now, Obama's exquisite balancing act is more palatable to the public than to the consistency-seeking pundits:

In scaling back the United States' participation in the NATO operation in Libya to a supporting role, rather than the lead role it started out with, President Obama has moved U.S. policy closer to where public opinion resides on the issue. Relatively few Americans want the U.S. to play the lead role (10%) or to withdraw altogether (22%). Most, 65%, can live with something in between -- either a "minor" or "major" U.S. role.

Whether Obama can satisfy both of these groups going forward remains to be seen, but adopting a moderate supporting role of some kind could earn broad public backing for this military engagement. At this point, the goal of the mission -- whether narrowly focused on a no-fly zone or broadened to include regime change -- does not appear to be critical in attracting majority public support.

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