I don’t always agree with him, but Ross Douthat brings up some excellent points in this editorial that warns against impulsive intervention in the Libyan conflict. He points out that the Iraq war should teach us some lessons about the temptations of employing force, even if under the best of intentions…”
“One (lesson) is that the United States shouldn’t go to war unless it has a plan not only for the initial military action, but also for the day afterward, and the day after that. Another is that the United States shouldn’t go to war without a detailed understanding of the country we’re entering, and the forces we’re likely to empower.
Moreover, even with the best-laid plans, warfare is always a uniquely high-risk enterprise — which means that the burden of proof should generally rest with hawks rather than with doves, and seven reasonable-sounding reasons for intervening may not add up to a single convincing case for war.”
While I respect many of the advocates of military action in Libya, including John Kerry, my gut tells me that U.S. military action in Libya is a bad idea. It may seem gun shy, but given all of the shooting that American soldiers have been doing in the last ten years, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think long and hard before we ask them to reload.