HELENE COOPER and STEVEN LEE MYERS
Monday, August 29, 2011
WASHINGTON — It would be premature to call the war in Libya a complete success for United States interests. But the arrival of victorious rebels on the shores of Tripoli last week gave President Obama’s senior advisers a chance to claim a key victory for an Obama doctrine for the Middle East that had been roundly criticized in recent months as leading from behind.
Administration officials say that even though the NATO intervention in Libya, emphasizing airstrikes to protect civilians, cannot be applied uniformly in other hotspots like Syria, the conflict may, in some important ways, become a model for how the United States wields force in other countries where its interests are threatened.
“We’ve resisted the notion of a doctrine, because we don’t think you can impose one model on very different countries; that gets you into trouble and can lead you to intervene in places that you shouldn’t,” said Ben Rhodes, the director for strategic communications at the National Security Council.
Even so, he said, the Libya action helped to establish two principles for when the United States could apply military force to advance its diplomatic interests even though its national security is not threatened directly.
This article was posted: Monday, August 29, 2011 at 2:16 am