March 08, 2011

Should We Get Militarily Involved in the Libyan Conflict?

The possibility of bombing Libya’s military airfields was raised by Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee on Sunday even as the White House cautioned against being drawn into another costly campaign without end. As Libya inches closer to an all out civil war, the issue of whether the US should escalate its response using military measures, such as a no fly zone to keep Libyan warplanes grounded, is now front and center. Another strong argument is being made for humanitarian over military response but what exactly would this entail and how would it be perceived by the rest of the world? Yet how can Libya’s air force be disabled without incurring the expense and commitment that marked our previous efforts in Iraq and the Balkans? Is it realistic that the US just keep its efforts on the diplomatic level?


Doyle McManus, Washington Columnist for the Los Angeles Times

Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent and Beirut bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, currently in Tripoli

Robert Killebrew, Colonel (USA ret) is a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Prior to his retirement from active duty he served for thirty years in a variety of Special Forces, infantry and staff duties.

Thomas Donnelly, director of the Center for Defense Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the coauthor of Lessons for a Long War: How America Can Win on New Battlefields (2010).

Micah Zenko, Fellow for Conflict Prevention at the Council on Foreign Relations

Listen to the full episode at Southern California Public Radio.