commentary

(CNN)

April 4, 2011

Obama's Calculated Gamble on Libya Strategy

by F. Stephen Larrabee

The decision by NATO to assume leadership of the military campaign against Col. Moammar Gadhafi's military forces could have a significant impact on future trans-Atlantic relations, giving the Europeans a larger voice in the management of trans-Atlantic affairs. This is something they have long claimed they wanted.

However, if the intervention is to succeed, the United States and its allies need to bring political goals more in line with military means.

Western policy has shown a disconnect between the political goals espoused by its leaders and the military actions allowed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. The resolution authorizes a no-fly zone and other actions designed to protect civilian lives. It does not support actions to oust Gadhafi, and imposes serious restrictions on the coalition's ability to assist the rebels and achieve broader political goals....

The remainder of this op-ed can be found at cnn.com.


F. Stephen Larrabee holds the Distinguished Chair in European Security at the RAND Corporation.

This commentary originally appeared on CNN on April 4, 2011. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.