Big Picture

Obama's Libya Bet Pays Off

Do you find the Muammar Gaddafi death photos a bit unseemly? Then change the subject and impress your peers instead by turning to the big picture. "The future face of American warfare is very likely on display now in Africa," Fred Kaplan writes at Slate. It's not just Libya: The U.S. is lending a hand in Somalia and Uganda as well, and President Obama is walking a thin line between intervention and occupation. Obama favors limited interventions with specialized forces and drones, followed by quick withdrawals. (Indeed, it’s unlikely we’ll be sinking $1 trillion into Libya over the next decade.) “It’s a lot easier to do that than to help build a new society,” Kaplan argues. “In this case, the society-building won’t have to be part of the mission.” And that, President Bush, is how it’s done.