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Editorial / Commentary / Opinion

 

 

Scott Sullivan :
Obama should rescue Gadaffi



President Obama should rescue Qadaffi because he has blundered by trying to impose a new government on Libya.

First, the African Union is pushing back hard on Obama's efforts to remove Qadaffi from power, because they worry which African leader will be Obama's next target. Meanwhile, Russia and China worry that Assad in Syria will be Obama's next target, where Obama is even more likely to fail than in Libya.

Second, President Obama has set the bar too high by saying he will remove Qadaffi and his advocates from the Libyan government, and exile Gadaffii to another country, In reality, Obama will retain most of Gaddafi's allies in government jobs due to their expertise, thereby perpetuating Gadaffism to dominate governmkent, without Gadaffi in office.  Moreover, Obama may have to retain Gadaffi in Libya when he looks at the difficulties of exiling Gadaffi to Algeria, Sudan, or any of the African Union States.

Third, President Obama will find that Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan and Egypt are the immediate US priorities, not Libya. Pakistan is a priority because it is aligning with Iran against the US and China, and is allowing Taliban to attack US military targets from Pakistani safe havens. Iraq is a priority, as is Sudan, because the cease fire is breaking down in both countries.   Moreover, Sudan's collapse is a signal that Egypt's collapse is near.  Saving Egypt then becomes, without ques tion, the top US priority, whereas LIbya  -- but not Sudan  -- will be ignored.

Finally, President Obama will find it a pleasant surprise to work with China and Russia as equal US partners on issues such as Libya and Sudan.  In fact, Russia and China are now preparing to take responsibility for the UN's entire Latin America portfolio, while the US drops out as a result of State Department exhaustion in diplomacy.  US/UN staff cooperation on Libya will point the way for similar multilateral staff cooperation on Latin American issues. 

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Scott Sullivan is a former Washington government employee and was the Senior Advisor for International Economics at the Crisis Management Center of the National Security Council, 1984 - 1986. Petroleumworld not necessarily share these views.

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Petroleumworld News 08/29/2011

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