As President Obama prepares to present his case for the Libya intervention, congressional members are squaring off over it. The president is on solid legal ground, but it could erode if Libyan operations continue for months, says CFR's Matthew Waxman.
It's unclear whether Muammar Qaddafi's regime will survive after a failed, but brutal, crackdown on protesters in Libya. But if Qaddafi goes, CFR's Robert Danin says Libya lacks the elements needed for a smooth and peaceful transition of power.
Post-Qaddafi Libya will face difficulties with rebel infighting, the anger of Qaddafi loyalists, and more, but the long-time dictator's death also creates an opening for a more peaceful country. CFR's Richard Haass, Ed Husain, and Ray Takeyh weigh Libya's prospects.
In four decades of rule, Qaddafi chased doomed adventures that isolated his regime from Arabs and the world. Libyans now have a chance to recast their state and reintegrate with their region, says CFR's Ray Takeyh.
The reported death of Muammar al-Qaddafi marks a dramatic end to his sway over Libya. Libyans now need considerable Western help in securing and rebuilding the country he leaves behind, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.
The Obama administration's recognition of the Libya's National Transitional Council as the country's legitimate government means freeing up funds for the group but also poses legal questions the State Department has to resolve.
With the United States now militarily engaged in Libya and U.S. allies seemingly at odds over goals, it is imperative that President Obama more clearly define the nation's objectives and the means to achieve them, says CFR's Robert Danin.
Military and popular support for Tunisian President Ben Ali's departure from power could mean pressure on new leadership for reform, and could also lead to modest concessions to reform in Egypt and elsewhere, says CFR's Steven Cook.
The Syrian regime's brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters didn't trip the same alarm bells as Libya's did for the UN Security Council, but the international community is gradually losing patience with Assad, says expert Edward Luck, a special advisor to the UN secretary-general.
As rebels try to strengthen their hold on Tripoli, the odds of a peaceful, democratic transfer of power in Libya are long and the need for ongoing international intervention is very likely, says CFR's Robert Danin.
France, Britain, and other NATO nations are now heading the Libya mission, but strains among members could be amplified if NATO tries to increase support for the rebels and the coalition still hasn't clarified its objectives, says CFR's Charles Kupchan.
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