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Monday, March 28, 2011

Evaluating the "Three Big Ifs"

In a recent blog I laid out what I continue to believe are three big things that need to happen in order for their to be success in Libya. I said they were:

If the United States Air Force can successfully complete its part of the NATO mission by this weekend,

and If England and France can successfully lead NATO and the Arab League to unite in the next week around an ongoing structure to the ongoing mission in Libya that does not rely on United States military playing a leading role,

and if this structure can lead to an eventual transfer of power from Quadaffi,

A lot of the media attention is missing these three big points. If the president is successful on these three things then the mission in Libya will have been an overall success and the president will be viewed as having led extremely well at a minimum cost to the United States. From my reading of it, points 1 and 2 are proceeding quite well and there is evidence that this could lead to point 3 happening. In other words, as the president prepares to address the country tonight he does so in a much stronger position than I had predicted last week.

This is an extremely fluid story and while I have remaining questions about it, I am open to seeing I initially judged it wrong and misread what the president was doing. To me at least, the more this develops the wiser the president is seeming.

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