If Moammar Kadafi is left in power, he will pick up where he left off and finish the slaughter we said we started this war to prevent, and he’ll likely return to his international terrorist ways.
The spectacle of a U.S.-NATO humiliation will echo around the region and the world. Other tyrants — like Syria’s Bashar Assad, already busy slaughtering his people — will reasonably conclude that the West’s bark is worse than its bite.
And then there are our friends. If America pulls out without something like real victory (i.e., Kadafi in a bag), NATO could be dealt a mortal blow. Our allies, who’ve spent the last decade fighting alongside us in Afghanistan and Iraq, will wonder if America’s resolve will always melt so quickly when she’s not giving the orders.
But staying the course is not so attractive either. Obama insists that the War Powers Act doesn’t apply to Libya because the bombing campaign and drone attacks don’t rise to the level of “hostilities.” No one really believes this nonsense. And so Obama has managed to do what no Republican president ever could: destroy the War Powers Act.