I just wanted to add a couple of final thoughts to my post last week on the Libya . . . war. I initially agreed with the Obama administration's sense that the U.S. participation did not rise to the constitutional threshold of war powers. But just about every online writer whose opinion I respect considers that assessment to be not only unconvincing but ridiculous on its face. That, combined with the fact that we now know the administration arrived at it by cherrypicking its own internal legal advice, makes me realize that I, like the Obama administration, was taking an overly semantic approach, in part because it comforted a position that I support. On a personal level, that's dangerous for me as an observer and analyst. On a national level, that's dangerous for the U.S. as a democracy. We're facilitating an ongoing and continuous effort by our allies to fight the military of a sovereign state. That's a war, and the Obama administration should seek congressional approval for it.
Still, I don't think that the prosecution of the war itself has been as bad as critics suggest. Marc Lynch, writing just after I did, took a similar approach to the Libya War, while exhorting the Obama administration to seek congressional and popular support for it:
I traced the virulency with which critics have attacked the prosecution of the war to their disapproval of it. It's worth noting, though, as Thomas Ricks does, that almost all wars seem poorly prosecuted: