Libya: Let’s not make it our war

More voices are being raised to urge caution before sliding into yet another war. General Wesley K Clark’s reflections deserve careful reading and reflection, before the old cold warriors, still looking for new causes, seduce an empathetic public and their representatives into another economically and politically draining war. “Libya doesn’t meet the test for U.S. military action”

What we do need to do is redouble our support (directly to the extent it is accepted and via international organizations) to the new governments of Arab countries to build and strengthen institutions that support the rule of law, the rights of individuals, a free press, and other checks and balances on the exercise of political power. We should encourage the development of the legal framework and institutions that promote entrepreneurship, justice, and tolerance of religious and other differences. The Arab Spring can be the beginning of a positive transformation of a backward part of the world or another false start. It is not up to us, but we can contribute to a more promising outcome if we choose to.

About wcoats

Dr. Warren L. Coats specializes in advising central banks on monetary policy, and in the development of their capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy. He is retired from the International Monetary Fund, where, as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department, he led missions to over twenty countries. Before then, he served as Visiting Economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to the World Bank, and was Assistant Prof of Economics at the Univ. of Virginia from 1970-75. Most recently he was Senior Monetary Policy Advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq; an IMF consultant to the central banks of Afghanistan, Kenya and Zimbabwe; and a Deloitte/USAID advisor to the Government of South Sudan. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Cayman Financial Review and until the end of 2013 was a member of the IMF program team for Afghanistan. His most recent book is entitled "One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
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