America's involvement in Libya, adding yet another war to its list of combat zones, undoubtably saved the Libyan people from a bloodbath.
At the request of the Arab League, the United Nations passed a resolution that virtually gave carte blanche to the U.S. and its allies to intervene in the Libyan civil war.
At literally the last minute, allied aircraft tore into Kaddaffi's armor and artillery at the outskirts of Benghazi, averting the massacre the Libyan dictator had promised.
But with all of the allies declaring no ground forces will be used, any swift resolution of this conflict is unlikely.
In fact, the political and military command structure of the allied effort appears to be murky, at best, and the rules of engagement we are using will not force Kaddaffi from power. That will be up to the rebel forces and they simply aren't capable of taking on any organized opposition of the government forces. A mob of rebels armed with AK-47 automatic rifles and handguns cannot conduct effective operations against an organized army equipped with heavy weapons.
Short of a palace coup, which may or may not solve the problem, all we've been able to accomplish, and all it looks like we intend to accomplish, is to give the rebels a little breathing space. We've simply created a pause in the civil war, but nothing we have done or said we will do at this point is going to end it.
The rebels will need to be rearmed and trained. That could take months, at best. And since the allied forces have indicated they won't be doing that, it would almost certainly have to fall to the Arab League, which doesn't seem at this point to have the moral fortitude to go that far.
Our military forces have, as usual, performed brilliantly, but as much as intervention was undoubtably the right thing to do -- on a moral and humanitarian level -- it doesn't look like this was well thought out at the political level.
In fact, we seem to have boxed ourselves into a position guaranteed not to solve the long-term problem.
No one seems to have a clear "end game" plan right now, and like the other wars we've been fighting, this one looks, unfortunately, like it is going to drag on for far longer than anyone can guess at this point.