The debate over what should be the United States’ response to the Libyan civil war has dominated much of the media’s attention for the last few days.
Pundits and policymakers have proposed airstrikes, enforcing a no-fly-zone, and sending arms to the rebels. While Obama has kept all of these options on the table, based on comments made by new his Chief of Staff, he appears reluctant to involve the U.S. militarily in another foreign military operation. This is not an unreasonable position for a president trying to extract the U.S. from two long, bloody wars.
In an article in TheAtlantic.com I argue that there is at least one action Obama could take to help the rebels while avoiding direct U.S. military involvement in the conflict:
The U.S. may be unable or unwilling to supply Libya’s rebels with everything they need to topple Qaddafi — since protests began in Libya and before that in Egypt, President Obama has made clear that the grassroots Arab uprisings must remain grassroots and Arab, rather than being co-opted by the U.S. But we can supply food. Supplying Benghazi with food aid is a viable and meaningful policy option short of risking the military entanglement Obama appears determined to avoid. Whether or not Libya’s revolution is ours to fight, it could well be ours to feed.
Food for thought, at least. You can read the entire article on TheAtlantic.com.