Wars are easy to start, hard to fight, and often harder still to end. Learning the right lessons from past wars, recent and old ones, is absolutely key. In Libya the international community must also keep its focus on political rather than military aims.
Middle East and North Africa
It is time to get real about Libya. All the huffing and puffing of Western leaders has yet to bring Gaddafi’s house crashing down. Instead, European leaders must think about what realistic outcomes they might be able to help achieve.
Western military planners are examining options for deposing Gaddafi. But somebody also needs to think about an international peace operation to stabilise Libya, whether to oversee the dictator's negotiated exit or clean up afterwards. Could this be a role for a UN-mandated EU?
Tunisians need European help to turn their revolution into a democracy
The EU needs to act on Libya. If it doesn't, the consequences for Europe – in terms of migration, energy revenues and support for terrorism – could be disasterous. Here are eight concrete steps that European leaders should consider taking.
Tunisians see Europe as complicit with the old regime of President Ben Ali, and were disappointed by the slow reaction of European leaders to their revolution. But they are willing to forgive, if their neighbours to the north makes amends by offering prompt and generous help as they rebuild their country.
Tunisia's democrats have made an amazing start, after launching the wave of popular uprisings that are continuing to rock the Arab world. But they worry that the world will forget them as they embark upon the massive project of rebuilding a new Tunisia.
Libya is in chaos, and Colonel Gaddafi seems determined to hang on to power at any expense. But he has already lost control of large swathes of the country, the security forces and bureaucracy, and it is not premature to start planning for a post-Gaddafi Libya.