March 26, 2011
Bob Wright says that because the attack on Libya "is truly multilateral... it not only diffuses the literal cost ... but the blowback that you get from intervention inherently."
But it doesn't work, does it, for the United State to try to spread the responsibility around? It reminds me of getting stuck in a group project at school, when you're the GPA-protecting A+ student and everyone else knows it. In school, the A+ student knows this is a bad deal. He's not thinking: I love this diffused responsibility! He's thinking: These other students are dragging me down, and if this project gets a D, I'm getting a D, so I'll do everything I can to get the A for everybody. And all the other students are thinking about how they will take advantage of this arrangement. There's no diffusion illusion in school. Does it get any better in military maneuvers? Those other countries are already flaking out, and the United States will be exposed as having the full responsibility it always had. Was there ever any serious hope of diffusion of "blowback"? I doubt it. If there was, it was naive and, really, quite ugly. We'll go to war if we can hide behind France?!