Civil unrest has broken out in Libya
You are the president of the United States. Civil unrest has broken out in Libya. The leader of the country is sytematically slaughtering members of different tribes and moderate Libyans who do not rally behind hm. Thousands of people, especially the ones residing in the eastern part, are targetted. Pictures of the dead and decomposing bodies are being shown on television and U tubes daily.
The international community has heeded to the begging of the rebels led by the Trans National Council. The Security Council has passed Resolution 1973 that authorizes the international community to enforce “A No Flying Zone” so as to prevent Quadaffi’s air force from targetting innocent citizens by destroying the regime’s aircraft capability. The US has been at the forefront and intends to transfer the mantle of leadership to the coalition led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Your critics wasted no time and are opening fire on your handling of the unrest in Libya. Quickest on the trigger are those Republicans harboring presidential ambitions of their own. Members of the Security Council such as Russia and China that abstained in connection to the imposition of “A No Fly Zone” and major members of the Arab League that lent their support for the UN’s resolution have criticized the U.S’ and the coalition forces role as unwaranted.
You must reassess the costs and benefits of your adminstration’s policy of handing over the leadership role to NATO. If you choose to step back and transfer the leadership, members of NATO don’t have the experience of leading an international coalition. The prospect for an immediate victory of the coalition is most unlikely given the fact that the rebel groups are poorly trained and poorly equipped. This would mean that the hope of victory of the coalition forces and rebel groups will die and Quadaffi will reassert himself. If that happens, you risk that he might support and arm terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and extremist Islamic groups that would endanger American lives and interests.
Thus, contrary to your current decision of transferring the leadership to NATO, a continued US leadership is the only option for cessation of the killing and removal of Quadaffi. It is understandable that you find it difficult to justify spending more money, risking more American lives, and ignoring domestic opposition. And yet you have to show boldness and imagination to manage the crisis and maintain U.S.’s leadership of the coalition forces. What counts most is the result that will secure American lives and interests in the long run.
Subsequently, the question you may have to answer rather soon is whether you can you sit by and watch the deterioration of the situation and give ammunition to foes and fans as a result of the disaster that would follow because of the alignment Quadaffi forges with al-Qaeda and extremist Islamic groups? What are the practical impacts of this phenomenon on American lives and interests as a result of your indecisiveness? What will you say?