The huge number of NATO air strikes against targets in Libya has made very little difference in the ongoing civil war, according to reports on the ground. At the end of the day, both sides remain stalemated, unable to conquer the entire nation.
In this context, Libyan rebel complaints on Tuesday that NATO isn’t doing enough on their behalf make more sense. Likewise, a number of rebel factions have been pushing for NATO to provide a massive influx of weapons to them.
But the UN Resolution which gave the US and France their excuse for war was not a broad endorsement of regime change, and officials have repeatedly insisted that is not the war’s goal. Indeed, some officials have openly talked up a stalemate as an acceptable result for the war.
At the same time, a stalemate is not so much an end to the NATO involvement but an excuse for an open-ended involvement. Coupled with the reality that neither side was really in a position to deliver a knock-out blow before the attacks, thewar seems less justified than ever.