We must acknowledge the real possibility that Gaddafi’s departure will be followed by continued violent resistance carried out by his supporters or bloody score-settling by the victorious rebels. The staying power of Gaddafi’s forces a month after the NATO intervention began suggests that the current fight, largely seen as democrat vs. oppressor, might have a darker tribal underlay. And with arms now generally available because of the weapons caches that both sides have accessed, a tribal-based round two could be dark indeed…

If disorder and disarray follow Gaddafi’s ouster, will humanitarians be prepared to stand by while the blood of retribution is spilled in the streets; or anarchy reigns; or society disintegrates; or a terrorist haven, famine and disease emerge? Whatever one’s view about the wisdom of embarking on our coalition effort in Libya, prudence suggests we begin serious planning about what happens when we win — including what effort and resources and time will be required.