Analysis of US intervention in Libya at Scenarios resulting from doing nothing are bad

A Point of View, Libya, Middle East & North Africa, Politics | | March 10, 2011 at 15:16

I’ve read some powerful commentary from readers at  Two comments concerning US intervention in Libya caught my attention:

MCQknight writes his analysis of Libya and US intervention:

Possible Scenarios:

1) We do nothing, Gadhafi wins, hundreds of thousands of people are murdered in retaliation, oil skyrockets, Libyan oil supplies are closed off to westerners, the Mad-Dog remains in power.

2) We do nothing. The rebels win. The new government hates us for only paing lip-service to their cuase. A new radical islamic regime forms. Libyan oil supplies are closed off to the west. Oil prices soar.

3) We aid the rebels with weapons and training. Gadhafi still wins. Huge embarassment for western military powers. Thousands of people murdered in retribution, oil soars, etc.

4) We aid the rebels with weapons and training.They win. Gadhafi goes into exile. A new government is installed that is friendly towards the west. America gains a new much-needed ally in the Middle Eastern world. Oil prices fall.

5) Western powers intervene through airstrikes; arming of rebels. Gadhafi forces are crushed by combination of rebel ground assault and western air assault. Gadhafi killed. America gains a new ally, oil prices fall.

Given the above likely scenarios, I think it is indeed in the best interest of Western powers to intervene. All scenarios resulting from us doing nothing are bad, while most scenarios of us intervening are good. Furthermore, it would take minimal airpower assets to tip the scale in favor of the rebels. Given the strategic, economic, and humanitarion stakes involved in this conflict, it would be totally irresponsible and stupid for western powers to sit on the sidelines in this conflict

STemplar writes:

The bottom line is whether anyone agrees or disagrees with intervention isn’t relevant. The President has stood up and staked out a position. He has said Ghadaffi needs to go. He has said he needs to be held accountable. He has sent his Sec of State to speak with opposition leadership. That is the position of the US government whether anyone likes it or not. If we do not support that check we have written with our mouth with some lead in our rear end’s we have caused damage to our ability to conduct foreign policy. That is the reality of the situation, there is essentially no ‘do nothing’ option that isn’t damaging to our interests beyond Libya at this point. Ghadaffi has called Obamas bluff. While the mindless fools we have in the executive branch hoped Libya would go like Egypt and Tunisia, that didn’t happen, and as l said their bluff has been called. Time to ante up.
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