Daily Archives: March 13, 2011
I have argued that the president is not dithering on Libya, but rather deferring his options to other bodies to make the decision. Today, the Arab League met to discuss the possibility of a “No Fly Zone” in Libya. Not surprisingly, the League threw its support behind the option. Amre Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League provided some interesting statements:
“We will inform the U.N. Security Council of our request to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya,” Moussa said. “The U.N. Security Council should decide how it will be enforced.”
“We hope the Libyan authorities will respect a no-fly decision,” he said. “Be assured the Arab countries will not accept the intervention of the NATO coalition.”
Basically, the Arab League did not make a decisive choice. Rather, it approval to the U.N. Security Council that it would support an option for the “No Fly Zone.” In this sense, the Arab League is like a sub-committee that reports to a higher committee, the U.N. Security Council, even though the two are not connected. The other statement reflects the Arab Leagues choice to just set up a “No Fly Zone” without more military action taken by NATO, or speculatively the U.S. The White House released a statement:
So, where does that leave the options for Libya? It moves to the next meeting. The E.U. has decided to find a way to recognize communicate with the rebels and give Gadhafi the silent treatment. The U.S. is deferring to NATO, who meets Tuesday, and the U.N. Security Council, who will probably have the final on the matter. The multilaterals are marching in and taking charge. The crisis is now officially in their hands. The Arab League’s decision might not have settled the matter, but it certainly gives the green light for continued approval on more resolutions until the final deal is decided in the coming weeks.