Thursday, March 31, 2011

Libya and Nation-State Paradigm

Well, the Obama administration sure did dodge a big fat bullet there w/ the Libya crisis.  Before the passage of the UN Security Council resolution, the Benghazi people did everybody a favor by declaring independence from the Qaddafi regime.  With a nominally state structure, we are now able to negotiate with Benghazi for aid and assistance.  The US didn't have to figure out how to deal with a non-state actor.

But the question remains un-resolved.  If Benghazi did not declare independence, could the US provide overt assistance such as a publicized shipment of ammunition?  Like I said earlier, the CIA could provide covert assistance when Obama signs a presidential finding, but not the Defense Department.  The weapon export regulatory regime (ITAR) requires a specific, drawn-out process to make this overt assistance happen.  With this drawn out process, Congress would get involved, slowing things down further.

Maybe this Libya adventure will provide the legislative impetus for Congress to start working this problem.

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