Imposing a No Fly Zone in Libya will be seen as a coercive step that may demand escalation. Western governments must therefore resist calls for a NFZ over Libya until it is clearly and convincingly the correct path to take.
As the Qadhafi regime unleashes slow-motion slaughter in Libya, a no-fly zone is the most compelling response, particularly in the face of growing demands for limited assistance from Libyans themselves. Critics of such an idea have yet to explain why the limited efficacy of NFZs means that they ought to be shunned altogether, or why a time-limited NFZ cannot be later withdrawn if proven impotent.
The causes of dissent in Libya are diverse - as are the factions which may end up jockeying for power. But the fact that they have emerged at all is perhaps the most surprising aspect of the uprising thus far.
Egypt is guaranteed neither a democratic nor a stable future, but the status quo had already failed in these respects. The transitional authorities need to sustain the democratic pressure of the uprising in order to meet the challenges ahead.