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The Security Council Resolution on Libya

The United Nations Security Council Resolution on the situation in Libya is available online. In summary it authorizes member states to act as required to prevent harm to Libyan civilians, authorizes the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libyan air space, strengthens the arms embargo against Libya, and strengthens the freeze on Libyan assets in foreign banks.

It does not authorize member states to support rebels, defend armed insurgent groups, remove Qaddafi from office, or take steps to prevent Qaddafi’s use of mercenaries.

President Obama has underscored that understanding of the resolution:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is traveling to Paris on Saturday for a meeting with European partners about enforcement of the U.N. resolution, Obama announced.

He pledged that the United States will not deploy ground troops in Libya, “and we are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal, specifically the protection of civilians within Libya.”

The emphasis is mine.

If you support U. S. participation in the actions authorized under the resolution on the grounds that it will remove Qaddafi from power, I don’t quite see how you can draw that conclusion from the resolution or from President Obama’s remarks on it.

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About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Thanks for the homework, Dave. It starts to look like a fig leaf. “We did something.”

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  2. [...] The Security Council Resolution on Libya (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  3. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t see it as a fig leaf. I think we’re going to let the Egyptians arm the rebels, suppress Gaddafi’s air force, and hope this turns into a quick palace coup and not a civil war.

    The specific mention of humanitarian demands such as letting rebel cities have water gives us carte blanche.

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  4. James Joyner says:

    Dave,

    The thought that armed revolutionaries are not “civilians” occurred to me yesterday, too. But I’m sure getting the vibe that the intention is an air war akin to Bosnia or Kosovo.

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  5. Libya Mission Creep Inevitable?…

    We’ll see, within days or perhaps even hours, what it is that the United States and its allies actually plan to do to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973, there are already strong indications of what the intended policy is. …

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  6. [...] Schuler correctly notes that the Security Council Resolution on Libya “authorizes member states to act as required to prevent harm to Libyan civilians, authorizes [...]

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  7. PD Shaw says:

    Yes, but how many leaders said something yesterday to the effect of “Gaddafi needs to go.” David Cameron

    The problem is that the goal of civilian protection is probably not achievable without Gaddafi leaving. So he needs to go.

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  8. PD Shaw says:

    I think this is a surprisingly legalistic interpretatin of events from Dave.

    As I read the resolution, it authorizes all of the things that Dave says aren’t authorized (“to support rebels, defend armed insurgent groups, remove Qaddafi from office, or take steps to prevent Qaddafi’s use of mercenaries”), so long as those activities are necessary “to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi.”

    It expressly excludes “a foreign occupation force,” but does not preclude troops on the ground.

    I also don’t believe the U.S. is leading this initiative, so Obama’s remarks and intentions aren’t key.

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  9. Dave Schuler says:

    I think this is a surprisingly legalistic interpretatin of events from Dave.

    I’m attempting to view the resolution as I think the French will which is through the prism of the Civil Code. The resolution lays out the things that are allowed; anything not specifically in the resolution is prohibited. I suspect that Americans will tend to view the resolution more expansively.

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  10. [...] Dave Schuler pointed out yesterday, Resolution 1973 is strictly limited to the protection of Libya civilians, [...]

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