Libya Strategy Questioned

As NATO bombs continue to fall over Libya, some challenge the air campaign. A new concept in international relations, “the responsibility to protect,” was a key concern of the U.N. Security Council Resolution authorizing intervention. Gerard Powers, director of Catholic Peacebuilding Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, said that while the Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi’s threat to civilians forfeited his government’s right “to be protected by norms of sovereignty and nonintervention,” NATO’s dependence on military action poses a moral dilemma. “If the military objective is really regime change, that’s hard to justify in Catholic approaches to humanitarian intervention,” he said. Instead of military intervention, Powers called for nonmilitary steps, including sanctions, political pressure and diplomacy. “In Libya, we have a disconnect between ends and means,” Powers said. “Airstrikes seem to be a tactic impersonating strategy, and without a viable strategy, military might easily masquerades as humanitarianism.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, is pictured in a 2017 photo (CNS photo/Bob Roller) 
The case shows the mystifying complexity of the human person—or at least this human person.
James Martin, S.J.July 16, 2018
A front-page article published July 16 detailed the alleged abuse of two seminarians in the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, by then-Bishop Theodore E. McCarrick.
Elsie Fisher (photo: A24)
Bo Burnham’s new movie is a joyous reminder that 13 is not, in fact, the best year of your life.
John AndersonJuly 16, 2018
A couple gets married in Stockholm, Sweden, in this 2013 file photo. (CNS photo/Fredrik Sandberg, EPA) 
“The right of Catholics to express disagreement with their leaders is a right as old as Peter and Paul.”
The EditorsJuly 16, 2018