[…] But there is little doubt that the situations in both Libya and Syria are substantially worse than they were before the United States and its NATO allies began to meddle. Overthrowing Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi produced pervasive chaos that has now culminated in a bloody armed struggle between two rival autocratic governments. The author of a new UN report states that the impact of the country’s 9-year internecine conflicts on civilians “is incalculable,” Washington’s effort to oust Assad not only appears to have failed, but it helped lead to the rise of ISIS. More recently, nasty contests for influence between Turkey and Russia have erupted in Syria and Libya, raising the prospect of a dangerous clash between those two major powers, especially in Syria.
In both arenas, the civil wars have displaced vast numbers of civilians, and the resulting refugee flows have caused severe disruptions and societal tensions in neighboring countries—including Washington’s European allies. Those episodes demonstrate why policies must be judged by their consequences, not their intentions. The observation that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions is especially true with respect to foreign military interventions. It is well past time for the architects of such debacles to accept responsibility for their awful handiwork. Läs artikel