27 November, 2014

Reflections on the Arab uprisings - The Washington Post

Reflections on the Arab uprisings - The Washington Post:

One point that emerged in the workshop discussions is the
extent to which we became too emotionally attached to particular actors
or policies. Caught up in the rush of events, and often deeply
identifying with our networks of friends and colleagues involved in
these politics, we may have allowed hope or passion to cloud our better
comparative judgment. That’s a fine quality in activists, but not so
helpful for academic rigor.

Libya: The Libya intervention is one of the very few
military actions in the region that I have ever supported – and the
results overwhelmingly suggest that I was wrong. I do not in any way
regret my support for that intervention, which saved many thousands of
lives and helped to bring an end to a brutal regime. Still, it is
impossible to look at Libya’s failed state and civil war, its proxy
conflict and regional destabilization, and not conclude that the
intervention’s negative effects over the long term outweigh the
short-term benefits. Moammar Gaddafi’s fall, combined with the
prominence of armed militias, left Libya without a functioning state and
little solid ground upon which to build a new political order. The
likelihood of such an outcome should have weighed more heavily in my