Obama Discusses Libya With Thomas L. Friedman
In an interesting Op-ed this week, Thomas L. Friedman discusses a broad range of foreign policy decisions that United States President Barack Obama implemented during his presidency. The president reflects on the short comings of the NATO-led Libyan Operations that ousted Colonel Qaddafi, where his “hands-off” foreign policy may not have the best solution for Libya:
“I’ll give you an example of a lesson I had to learn that still has ramifications to this day, and that is our participation in the coalition that overthrew Qaddafi in Libya. I absolutely believed that it was the right thing to do. … Had we not intervened, it’s likely that Libya would be Syria. … And so there would be more death, more disruption, more destruction. But what is also true is that I think we [and] our European partners underestimated the need to come in full force if you’re going to do this. Then it’s the day after Qaddafi is gone, when everybody is feeling good and everybody is holding up posters saying, ‘Thank you, America.’ At that moment, there has to be a much more aggressive effort to rebuild societies that didn’t have any civic traditions. … So that’s a lesson that I now apply every time I ask the question, ‘Should we intervene, militarily? Do we have an answer [for] the day after?’ ”
It is noteworthy to mention that the president reiterated his intention of extending his hand to communities in the Middle East that apply the principle of “No Victor/No Vanquished”. This proclamation would confirm that the current U.S. administration has no intention of picking sides in the latest Islamist-Nationalist spat.