Everyone’s talking about this, from Marc Ambinder, which describes pretty much exactly what I thought the new Obama model for intervention would be:
The development of a new doctrine in the Middle East is taking form, and it could become a paradigm for how the international community deals with unrest across the region from now on. The new elements include the direct participation of the Arab world, the visible participation of U.S. allies, as well as a very specific set of military targets designed to forestall needless human suffering. Though the Libyan situation is quite unique – its military is nowhere near as strong as Iran’s is, for one thing – Obama hopes that a short, surgical, non-US-led campaign with no ground troops will satisfy Americans skeptical about military intervention and will not arouse the suspicions of Arabs and Muslims that the U.S. is attempting to influence indigenously growing democracies.
The US is not going to move towards a non-interventionist model, no matter how well Daniel Larison argues in favor of one. If the US is going to intervene all over the world — and it is, for better or worse — getting international approval and avoiding ground drops sure seem like good ideas to me. This new Obama model sounds a lot like the Bush I/Clinton model.