In October 2011 I snickered like everybody else did when Gaddafi was killed. I was led to believe that he was the real enemy, and that the perpetrators of the Arab Spring were in fact good.
I have now reversed my position. Gaddafi was not a good person, but he was a lot better than what replaced him. He rejected Islamist doctrine; he believed only in his own doctrine. His oil was costly, but accessible. Now all of Libya is dangerous, especially for "Westerners". NATO launched airstrikes against the Libyan government and we helped the Islamists take over, or at best, create a loosely-governed Libya full of chaos. Now we may have to pay even more in years ahead to battle Islamists in North Africa. There is no realistic reason why we shouldn't believe that North Africa - especially Algeria, Libya, Mali, northern Niger, and northern Chad - won't become the next Afghanistan.
Apart from the fact that there's no cannabis, the main difference in that mission is that under Obama and Obama-influenced rule in the U.S., the American military presence might be non-existent. And we can't count on Russia to do much, despite their rebuilding of their military. China's military is growing but they are too focussed on building their regional presence. So I think a future military coalition in these countries will actually be French-led. Canada, Australia, perhaps India, and other European and African nations will also likely get involved.
As horrible as the conflict could be, there will be a benefit from it. The waning power of the U.S. will require the involved nations to increase their military budgets and not rely on the U.S. military so much. (By the way, if the anti-oil environmentalists types have their way in North America, such as by blocking the Keystone XL and what have you, this war is more likely to happen)
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