analysisBy Simon Allison
Ever since Gaddafi's grisly death, Libya has been a state in name alone, held together by a delicate balancing act of rival militias. But even this is now beginning to unravel, with devastating consequences for the country - and, potentially, for the rich Gulf petro-states who are watching these developments with barely-disguised terror. And unfortunately for them, no amount of unilateral airstrikes are likely to help.
Every now and then, and this should reassure us, American diplomats demonstrate that they have learned a thing or two from their various military misadventures over the last few decades. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan - maybe it hasn't all been completely in vain.
"Any kind of intervention or foreign intervention won't help Libya get out of chaos," concluded state department spokesperson Jen Psaki at a press conference on Monday. "Libya's challenges are political, and violence will not resolve them. Our focus is on the political process there. We believe outside interference exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya's democratic transition."
Psaki was echoed by the United Nations' representative in Libya, who was even less equivocal in his verdict: "Any kind of intervention or foreign intervention won't help Libya get out of chaos," said...