War what is it good-a-for

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So the Brits, among others, got themselves engaged in military action in North Africa.  Although the decision to get involved was made rather selectively to say the least, non-action would have lead to an absolute massacre. Despite a broad coalition there are always those who don’t agree. Those who believe that the answer to the ‘why’ of any military (in)action since the first Gulf war is ‘because of the oil’. If it were for the oil and for the oil only, no UN resolution would have been passed, no one would have intervened, Qadafi would have created a blood bath, uprising suppressed, order restored, oil business as usual.

But one chose not to take that route. One chose to intervene. Lives have been saved because of it, but the issue is that the broad coalition does not unanimously agree on its aims. Some say (already) too much force has been used. Many insist the mission is to protect civilians only. Others argue that Qadafi and his regime need to be removed.

Although one has kept rather quiet on similar uprisings in strategic Bahrain and economically vital Saudi Arabia and I understand why the Germans don’t want to get involved, I believe it’s good something is being done. The question is, with no real strategy for the longer term and different factions having different ideas about the mission, how is this going to end? No one wants an Iraq 2003-present all over again, but if Qadafi is not removed from power real (democratic) change is very unlikely to happen. So how long is it going to take before the aim of regime change is clearly expressed and/ or the broad coalition is falling apart due to disagreement?

They resumed the digging and although an initial blood bath has been prevented this whole saga might turn rather messy indeed. Once you’re in you can’t just get out as, freely after a Chinese proverb, she who rides the tiger, can’t dismount.

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