President Barack Obama's relative silence leading up to this intervention not only lowers those barriers to exit that Scoblete, like so many others, is concerned about, but also widens the scope for politics in finding an end-state even now that military action has been engaged.
Larison builds on this thought:
Grunstein is right that there are relatively low barriers to exiting Libya right now, but pressure continues to build for a more ambitious mission that involves toppling Gaddafi. British and French political leaders seem to take it for granted that this is the objective. If Obama does not publicly commit the U.S. to achieve this, there is still a way out, and Obama should take it. The U.S. may be able to hand off running the no-fly zone to another government or to NATO. This is uncertain at the moment, but it may happen. The U.S. could then fairly quickly end its participation in the war before it escalates.
Tom Ricks likewise thinks other nations should now maintain the no-fly zone:
We have done what we set out to do in Libya. We kicked the door down, and with radars and SAM sites degraded, have made it possible for lesser air forces to patrol the skies over Qaddafi. We should now say, OK, we have created the conditions, time for you all to have the courage of your convictions. The goal now for the United States, I think, is a negative one: To not be conducting a no-fly zone over Libya 5 years or even 5 months from now.
Count me in. Since this impulsive and reckless decision was driven by the allies, Britain and France, they should now take full ownership of it. I prefer a non-NATO command structure, to reduce the American imprint. And good luck, Sarko, with the Arab states.
It's also a way in which Obama can argue that this is not simply an "on-the-fly" action to salve the Clintons' conscience over Rwanda, or encourage Samantha Power's notion that, in the immortal words of George W. Bush, "We have a responsibility that when somebody hurts, government has got to move." That's awful advice at home, but lethal advice abroad.