Monday, December 12, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
According to Voice of America (VOA), some Syrians expressed feelings of empowerment as a result of the death of Moammar Gaddafi. Former White House adviser Marc Ginsberg told VOA that one lesson learned from Libya could be that there will be increased pressure on the United States “to determine how and what to do about Syria”. So far the Syrian people continue to wait for external intervention. According to Chatham House’s Sir Richard Dalton, they may be waiting indefinitely. Dalton writes that Libya is probably not a precedent for foreign involvement in other Arab states. His justification is that Libya represented an unusual alignment of popular demand from the Libyan people, international willingness (except for a few of Gaddafi's former allies in Africa), an internationally legal intervention resulting from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and an affordable military task with a clear exit strategy for external participants.
According to Ted Piccone, the NATO operation expanded the interpretation of the UN mandate. Consequently this expansion of power solidified opposition from Russia, China, Brazil, India, and South Africa. The direct implication for Syria is that there is no consensus to act. For Libya, the consensus and the rhetoric were present. The United Nations is unlikely to act in Syria. Libya is an exceptional case, but could possibly be a precedent for future situations to bring United Nations and NATO together, though probably not in the case of Syria.
Al Arabiya reports that the Libyan victory shows other Arab Spring protesters such as those in Syria and Yemen that victory is possible. However, “the concept of civilian protection still competes with deeply held norms of sovereignty”. In the case of Syria, the leaders are in control of the state’s territory and the security forces have the backing of influential allies, according to Foreign Affairs magazine. These factors make humanitarian intervention unfeasible, according to the article.