Advancing a Free Society

The Libyan War Was a Success. But It Won’t Be a Model for Other Wars.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How about the war being “favored by the fortune which loves the brave“? Good fortune played a role, no doubt, but the bravest were the Libyans who transformed themselves from a bunch of disheveled, underequipped civilians into a force capable of capturing Tripoli. This is not to knock NATO; if the allies hadn’t taken out Qaddafi’s planes, tanks and artillery, the rebels might still be in Benghazi fighting for their meager gains, and their lives. But it does take more guts and stamina to fight in the open desert and in urban warrens than to unleash a Hellfire missile from far above.

Another piece of good fortune is that the rebels seem to have considerable political savvy. They must have read the postmortems from the war in Iraq, which detail the disastrous consequences of dismantling the army, disbanding the police, and decapitating the administration. They are currently doing the opposite, keeping the police and security apparatus intact while welcoming defectors with open arms. If Tripoli 2011 doesn’t turn into Baghdad 2003, the rebels will be able to add half a political victory to almost-total military triumph.

Continue reading Josef Joffe…

(photo credit: BRQ Network)