The NATO coalition over Libya appears to be paying the price for the way in which the United States has subsidized European defense budgets since the end of the Second World War and especially since the end of the Cold War. The problem with being a free rider is that if you ever decide to you need to drive someplace yourself, you realize quickly that you no longer have the means to do so. Hopefully this intervention in Libya will convince European leaders to either stop talking so tough regarding military interventions or to re-invest in truly independent military capabilities.

P.S. The United States should be happy to continue to subsidize European defense spending, of course, as long as the European states in turn subsidize U.S. health care and education.