Politics & Policy

The Arab League’s on the Sidelines for This One

Amazingly, after first calling for an air strike, then expressing disappointment in the coalition regardless, the Arab League has yet to take any active role in Libya (with the exception of Qatar, which will begin air patrols this weekend):

WASHINGTON (AP) — As America’s NATO allies shoulder a greater share of the air war in Libya, the Arab countries that urged the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone are missing from the action.

Except for the small Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, which is expected to start flying air patrols over Libya by this weekend, no other members of the 22-member Arab League have so far publicly committed to taking an active role. The U.S. has sold many of these countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, billions of dollars in sophisticated military gear over the past decade to help counter Iran’s power in the region.

Nearly a week into the campaign to prevent Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces from attacking civilians, the United States increased the pressure on its NATO allies to take command of the campaign, suggesting the U.S. might even step away from its leadership role in a few days, even with the conflict’s outcome in doubt.

Read the full story here.

Nat Brown — Nat Brown is a deputy web editor at Foreign Affairs and a former deputy managing editor of National Review Online.

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