Two more data points emerge to make clear why the Obama administration’s present course on Libya is so reckless.
First, Spain’s interior minister says “sophisticated Libyan army weapons are being trafficked and possibly sold to al-Qaeda’s affiliate in North Africa, giving the group the potential to increase instability in a key part of the continent.”
Second, the World Bank’s representative for Libya says “a protracted struggle for Libya could leave it in the hands of extremists instead of the liberal economic technocrats who now lead its rebel movement.” He is quoted as follows by Reuters: “If this civil war goes on, it would be a new Somalia, which I don’t say lightly.”
These reports are not surprising. It is inevitable that a protracted civil war leads to leakage of arms and to the rise of extremists. The solution is obvious: Let’s get it over with. Increase U.S. air strikes, send in tactical air controllers and trainers to aid the rebels, and let’s topple Qaddafi sooner rather than later. As Gary Schmitt of the American Enterprise Institute rightly notes: “Common sense says that stirring up a hornet’s nest is a sure way to get stung. If you don’t want that to happen, it’s best to destroy it—and the sooner the better.