1. We're in it now. Any outcome where the Gaddafi regime stays in place is an American defeat. Gaddafi will, alongside whatever he does to the Libyan people, become a symbol and inspiration for every destructive impulse in the region.
2. I have heard no clear harmonization of means and ends by the US government. Just today, Clinton was much clearer than Obama that the goal was ending the Gaddafi regime and that the UN resolution was one step in the process of Gaddafi losing power. The Gaddafi regime might be so brittle and whatever element becomes dominant among the rebels might be so competent and decent (in a relative sense) that American involvement is not costly in either lives or other national resources. It is a real possibility. But we shouldn't assume that will be the case. The American people should know that we are willing to do what needs to be done to achieve our (hopefully clearly articulated) objectives. Our enemies should know that too.
3. David Frum started the day by suggesting that we might want to downsize our commitment to Afghanistan in order to redirect resources to Libya. So we should, in practice, abandon our effort to prevent the establishment of an al-Qaeda client state in order to intervene in Libya? Frum later suggests that American success in Libya might be used as cover for American withdrawal from Afghanistan. He writes, "With Saddam and Qaddafi overthrown, it may not matter so much that we were unable to build a stable government in poor and remote Afghanistan at an acceptable cost." And if we get mired in an al-Qaeda-backed insurgency in Libya, I guess we could get out by launching a bombing campaign in Burkina Faso. Am I taking crazy pills?
4. And that reminds me. The Obama administration has used far too little of its energy in making the case for the American counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan and the security stakes for the US.