Libya a new model for war?

August 23, 2011

John Hockenberry and Gideon Rose discuss the successful campaign to dislodge Ghaddafi in Libya and wonder whether this particular mix of forces – NATO airpower, intelligence and special forces leavening the mass of local forces – is the model for successful interventions.  Of course, this is exactly the mix that was also successful in Afghanistan 10 years ago.  Sometimes we forget how successful the initial toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan was because we are still tied down in trying to stabilize the nation a decade later.   Such could well be the case in Libya, as well.  If we really want this model to be new and different, we should just leave Libya to the Libyans.  We can topple oppressive regimes for the locals, but building a new nation in the aftermath is their own work.    That would be a different approach.  It is also highly unlikely.  We Americans are too attached to our messianic approach to democratization.

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