Arm The Rebels?

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Steve Coll advises against it:

[T]he rebels have as yet no command and control; they serve a political entity (if that is not too generous a way to describe the councils that have been set up in eastern Libya) that is recognized as legitimate by France alone. There is no way to police the rebels’ conduct or to hold them accountable for their actions on the battlefield. It is not clear what the rebels are fighting for, other than survival and the possible opportunity to take power in a country loaded with oil.

Gulliver worries about loose weapons:

Guns aren't a policy. Guns are just guns. What that means is that once they're out there, you can't readjust. You can't recalibrate. You can't ask for all your weapons to be returned so that they can be redistributed to the faction that's better aligned with your strategic intent. You can only hope what you've done ends up accomplishing what you want. And I'll be the one millionth guy to say it: hope is not a plan.

(Photo: Libyan rebels return from battle some 30 kilometers before the eastern town of Brega on March 31, 2011, as rebel fighters fought running street battles for the oil town, about 800 kilometres (500 miles) from the capital Tripoli, with forces loyal to Moamer Kadhafi driving around and shooting at people. By Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

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