Contrary to what opponents of a military intervention in Libya are claiming, the U.S. is not at war with Libya. In fact, it's very possible that the U.S. will not even be directly engaged in any eventual acts of war against Libya. And though endgames, outcomes and objectives are valid concerns and necessary considerations, much of the hand-wringing is premature.
The U.N. Security Council resolution will allow outside powers to target Moammar Gadhafi's air and ground forces to keep them from delivering the final blow that was all but imminent even as the council voted on the measure last night. I still believe that even less would have been needed two weeks ago to dramatically alter the calculus of both Gadhafi and those Libyan factions that have since rallied to his support.
But that "even less" could only have come from the U.S. And though I'm not convinced that a unilateral U.S. air strike would have caused the enormous diplomatic collateral damage that many claimed, the U.N. mandate is preferable for all the obvious reasons.