The Saudis and Iranians don’t agree on much, but they do share a deep dislike for Muammer Gaddafi. In fact, outside of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez, there really is no one in the international community who does. That is why it was so easy to build international support for a Nato bid to push him from power.
The trouble is that, unless it gets exceptionally lucky, Nato is unlikely to either force Col Gaddafi from his stronghold or cut a politically saleable deal with him anytime soon. In the mean time, its participants should reflect on the moral of this story for those western powers anxious to write its final chapter: a lack of international resistance can lead governments to start wars they don’t know how to win. Read more