Archive for April 25th, 2011

In a great Foreign Policy article, Stephen Walt explains the so-called Intervention Paradox.

As he explains, using military force to tackle the civil war in Libya is unlikely to succeed. Either NATO members will launch a small-scale attack based on air strikes, or they go for the big solution and send ground troupes. The first way will presumably prolong rather than solve the problem while the latter might end up as Afghanistan and Iraq.

Hence the paradox: if you go in light you get a protracted stalemate; if you go in big you end up with a costly quagmire.

Thus we might conclude that unpopular German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, wasn’t so much off the base when deciding not to take part in any military operation on Libya. Yet, I do not expect him to get any applause, partly because he did not give any proper statement against the war.

Speaking in a broader context, I have to note that to some extent it is frightening to observe how sharply views have changed in Germany since people took office that were born after WW2. Gerhard Schroeder (*1944) was the first chancellor who did not really experience the great Nazi disaster and he was also the first to send German soldiers to war. Coincidence?


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