Over at The New Republic, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy echoes Via Meadia‘s contention that the messy intervention in Libya hasn’t made the task of U.S. foreign policy makers any easier:
As Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu meet today, the bitter lessons of the Libyan campaign will hover in the background. In light of the Libyan experience, what nuclear aspiring nation can now put its trust in a rollback deal of any sort? When NATO took to the skies over Tripoli, Benghazi, and Misrata, it delivered the greatest possible blow to future non-proliferation diplomacy. . . .Worst of all, the Libyan experience has already compromised—for the moment, at least—any chance that international coalitions can be assembled and maintained to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat and the Syrian crisis.
Read the whole thing. Via Meadia sheds no tears over the departure of the Great Loon. But the unforeseen consequences of that intervention illustrate what happens when you do the right thing at the wrong time or in the wrong place.There are many other calls on the US and its allies for humanitarian intervention, and many more will arise. We cannot and should not say yes to them all but there are times when our interests and/or our values demand a response. As a country, we need to think this through.