Does Germany get clean-up duty in Libya?

This Spiegel commentary argues that Germany blew it by not supporting the Libya campaign — and suggests that the uncertain ally will now be obliged to contribute significantly to the post-conflict work: Had Merkel and Westerwelle supported the mission from day one, they would now have had a decent excuse to limit their post-Gadhafi contribution. ...

By , a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

This Spiegel commentary argues that Germany blew it by not supporting the Libya campaign -- and suggests that the uncertain ally will now be obliged to contribute significantly to the post-conflict work:

This Spiegel commentary argues that Germany blew it by not supporting the Libya campaign — and suggests that the uncertain ally will now be obliged to contribute significantly to the post-conflict work:

Had Merkel and Westerwelle supported the mission from day one, they would now have had a decent excuse to limit their post-Gadhafi contribution. Instead, Germany will likely have to take on the most difficult part of the mission — that of ensuring order in a region which, many experts warn, could ultimately resemble the chaos seen in Iraq in the years following the US invasion. Many of the country’s tribes are at odds with one another or are competing for power — which promises to create a difficult situation for foreign aid workers.

I have no doubt that the British and French will be asking the Germans to pony up for post-conflict operations. But how compelling will their arguments be? Can’t the Germans simply respond that they didn’t want the conflict in the first place and have no moral or political obligation to make major contributions in its aftermath?

David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist

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