Regarding Libya, I follow Jim Manzi

I haven’t written about the now-underway U.S. military action in Libya, mostly because lots of other people are more expert on this topic than I. But for the purpose of exposing my biases at the start of this post, I’ll lay my cards on the table: I am against it. I assume the military phase will be devastating for the regime, and hope that the overall effort goes as well as is possible, but I think it’s a mistake for the U.S. to expend significant economic, human or moral resources in a military attempt to control the evolution of the conflict in Libya.

I understand the humanitarian impulse to help the underdog, but we have finite resources, and cannot hold ourselves responsible for the political freedom of every human being on Earth. As many others have said, the obvious problem with this action is that we must set the pretty gauzy-sounding benefits of influencing public opinion in the Middle East, avenging ourselves for the Pan Am bombing, possibly improving the lives of people in Libya and so forth, against the many ways that this could plausibly turn into a much more expensive proposition than is currently anticipated – and not only in terms of money. (It also seems very far from clear that in this case the underdogs are people who, once in power, would be materially better than the current government for Libyans, Americans, or just about anybody else.)

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