Clive Crooks in today’s FT on Obama’s Libyan tightrope:
One imponderable, oddly neglected up to now, is the view of US voters. The mood has been against US involvement. If all goes well, voters will come round and be proud. If not, they will care not a jot about international legitimacy and will ask instead about legitimacy at home.
If this is another war, where was Congress? Whose decisions, exactly, are putting US forces at risk? And why was the president not in the Oval Office when this all started, explaining his decision to the nation? He had a meeting in Brazil.
More pithily, from Saturday’s edition of the same paper, Chris Caldwell notes that “in the eyes of Americans such an [multilateral] approach looks less legitimate. Relatively speaking, it separates control of international missions from the people and from the class of people who will did on them.”