Exum seconds General Jim Mattis's comments on the difficulty of establishing a no-fly zone:

I have been working under the suspicion that most of the good-natured people clamoring for a no-fly zone in Libya have not thought very hard about what, exactly, that might entail. Most of the people insisting the United States DO SOMETHING are either ignorant about the risks and complexities of contemporary military operations or gloss over those risks and complexities. [For more on no-fly zones, read this informative piece by my old colleague Michael Knights.]

Some anti-Qaddafi rebels are now mulling requesting a possible UN-sponsored bombing raid on some of Qaddafi's military installations. That isn't a no-fly zone. But even that limited amount of foreign intervention is controversial in Libya:

The anti-government protesters in Libya, like their counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt, have drawn broad popular support and great pride from their status as homegrown movements that toppled autocrats without outside help. An intervention, even one with the imprimatur of the United Nations, could play into the hands of Colonel Qaddafi, who has called the uprising a foreign plot by Western powers seeking to occupy Libya.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.