After Libya Failure, New Thinking Needed for Removing Dictators

Then-French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Libya’s then-National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil and British Prime Minister David Cameron visit Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 15, 2011 (AP photo by Stefan Rousseau).
Then-French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Libya’s then-National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil and British Prime Minister David Cameron visit Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 15, 2011 (AP photo by Stefan Rousseau).
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Deciding whether to remove a dictator by force has long been a vexing problem for American policymakers. With the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, many dictators fell with little direct U.S. involvement. But that simply weeded out the herd, leaving the most ruthless and hardened, like Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the Kim dynasty in North Korea and the Assad dynasty in Syria. After the attacks of 9/11 and U.S. President George W. Bush’s “global war on terror,” they, too, were in America’s sights to one extent or another. The insurgency in Iraq should […]

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