The NATO operation in Libya has now entered its fifth month. Over the weekend, Libyan rebels took over the key port city of Zawiya, which lays just 30 miles from the capital Tripoli, a development which prompted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to say that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s days are numbered. Flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Panetta said on Tuesday that Gaddafi’s forces have been weakened, especially through high-level defections.
Despite the Obama administration's optimism, many GOP critics continue to charge that the Libya operation is a failure and that President Barack Obama lacks any clear mission or “compelling rationale” for continued U.S. involvement. GOP critics have questioned NATO’s capacity and Obama’s decision to rely on the international community to bring about change in Libya.
Has Obama’s multilateral approach succeeded? Or is the continued battle to overthrow Gaddafi affirmation that former President George W. Bush’s more unilateral foreign policy strategy was more effective?