While Muammar Gaddafi is crushing the opposition, Western powers are wasting precious time debating the wisdom of military intervention. Gaddafi will not relinquish power. He is determined to either kill for power or to be killed. As long as Gaddafi has the means to provide guns and money, foreign mercenaries and allies of his tribe will continue to fight for him. Given that the rebels are outnumbered and outgunned, Gaddafi will gain the upper hand, unless the international community stops talking and starts acting.
Even though Western leaders have chosen sides already by condemning human rights violations and calling on Gaddafi to step down, they remain mired in a lopsided cost-benefit analysis. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has expressed his fear of drawing the United States into another costly war in the Middle East. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton has cited concerns over the lack of a legal basis for military intervention and the possibility of civilian casualties. Such reluctance is both misguided and dangerous.
Foreign Policy in Focus
To read the full article please see: www.fpif.org/articles/time_is_running_out_for_intervention_in_libya
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