What’s “Victory” In Libya?


Almost two months into the conflict, Daniel Larison predicts the Libyan War will be "declared a failure":

Because the stakes are so very high for Gaddafi and remarkably low for the intervening governments, it is hard to see why he is going to yield first. The reality is that non-U.S. allies do not seem to be prepared politically or militarily to outlast him, and the U.S. is appropriately unwilling to increase its involvement in a war that was at best of tangential concern to America all along.

But this morning, CJ Chivers reports on some modest advances by the rebels. This scene does not bode well for Qaddafi:

Signs of an enemy in disarray were evident in Misurata as the rebels moved west — abandoned green uniforms, abandoned food and houses along the road with interiors full of human waste, as if the Qaddafi soldiers, under threat of air attack, had been afraid to venture outside.

Inside the shattered ruins of one compound, a petting zoo and poultry-breeding center, the unburied body of a Qaddafi soldier, at least several days old, was sprawled face down on the ground not far from a rotting ostrich, still in its cage.

(Photo: A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward the positions of troops loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi April 14, 2011 west of Ajdabiyah, Libya. Rebels exchanged artillery and rocket fire with loyalist troops west of Ajdabiyah April 14 as the confict engulfing Libya continued. By the late Chris Hondros/Getty Images.)