A reader writes:
I don’t see what you do in Obama’s action regarding Libya. Yes, the Congress is being ignored, for now, but for the first time since perhaps the 1956 invasion of the Sinai by European forces the US is not taking the lead in a military intervention. Obama’s Libya action is such a limited commitment of US military power that it may mark the end of singular American leadership, not a new military quagmire.
Ironically, Libya marked the first free lance foreign military intervention in US history and may mark the last, fitting bookends for the rise and fall of the American empire. We may be witnessing the re-emergence of a multi-polar world in the military sphere just as we have witnessed the emergence of a multi-polar economic and financial world since the start of the great recession. Good or bad, I don’t know, but to me this is the real meaning of Obama’s actions. The issue of the imperial presidency may turn out to be parochial by comparison.
This is also David Corn's point. My main concern is whether France and Britain, let alone, er, Qatar, will be able to do this without, in the end, requiring the US taking up the slack. And whether, from that point on, it becomes America's war - against a crazy regime capable of anything. And a war that may be restrained by its legal parameters from even toppling Qaddafi. But I hope to be proven wrong. And will celebrate if I am.
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