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A Formula for Libya Unworthy of Our Country

1:15 PM, Apr 25, 2011 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
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A serious Libya policy would involve far greater American support for NATO’s actions in Libya, and it is remarkable after six decades of American grousing about European commitment to that organization to hear the British and French complain (rightly) about ours. A serious policy would recognize the Transitional National Council, through which the non-lethal aid is apparently being given. A serious policy would arm the Libyan rebels so that, if we won’t throw Qaddafi out, they can. And a serious policy would not cheer them into battle armed with “non-secure radios” and binoculars. The Obama administration clearly thinks it has achieved a nice compromise: we’re in but we’re not in, tough rhetoric but no men on the ground, help the rebels but give them no weapons. It is a formula, for stalemate and for more rebel deaths, unworthy of our country.

Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, was assistant secretary of State for Latin America in the Reagan administration.

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