Tyrant Down

Col. Gaddafi’s regime appears to have collapsed as rebels took Tripoli today. Foreign policy parses the worth of the United States’ endeavor in Libya.

Many have criticized U.S. President Barack Obama’s strategy of “leading from behind” in Libya, but that strategy now seems utterly vindicated. It was Libyans themselves, with significant help from NATO, Qatar, and the UAE, who liberated their country from Qaddafi’s grip — a fact about which they are fiercely and justly proud. It required little from American taxpayers: As of Thursday, NATO operations had cost the United States around $1.1 billion, according to CFR’s Micah Zenko — a rounding error.

While the story does cite problems, such as remaining loyalist strongholds, the persistence of state-run media, the expected problems of rebuilding and unification. But the resounding cheer that this nation is their own again leaves me with some hope that the vacuum won’t be filled by yet another despot.

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