Everyone says the Libya intervention was a failure. They’re wrong. – Vox
Was the rightness of stopping the Rwandan genocide dependent on whether Rwanda could realistically become a stable democracy after the genocide was stopped? And how could policymakers make that determination, when the stabilization of any post-conflict situation is dependent, in part, not just on factual assessments but on always uncertain questions of the international community’s political will — something that is up to politicians — in committing the necessary time, attention, and resources to helping shattered countries rebuild themselves?
The idea that Libya, because it had oil and a relatively small population, would have been a relatively easy case was an odd one. Qaddafi had made sure, well in advance, that a Libya without him would be woefully unprepared to reconstruct itself.
For more than four decades, he did everything in his power to preempt any civil society organizations or real, autonomous institutions from emerging. Paranoid about competing centers of influence, Qaddafi reduced the Libyan army to a personal fiefdom. Unlike other Arab autocracies, the state and the leader were inseparable.
To think that Libya wouldn’t have encountered at least some major instability over the course of transition from one-person rule to an uncertain “something else” is to have a view of political development completely detached from both history and reality.