Ed Morrissey: The history of the last thirty years of American policy in the Middle East and North Africa can be summed up in two words: unintended consequences. The US has found itself pressured by outside events into interventions that have ended up backfiring in substantial ways.
In most cases, one can argue with good reason that the US advanced other policies that more than compensated for the complications.
Not so in Libya and Mali:
The boomerang in this case came from our extremely ill-advised and reckless intervention in Libya, which turned that nation into a failed state and sent tentacles of radicalism throughout the Sahel. And what did we gain from the Libyan adventure and the revolution we blessed in Egypt by tossing a 30-year ally to the wolves? In the latter, we now have leadership that feels entirely comfortable using eliminationist rhetoric against Israel; in the former, we have a burned-out consulate, four dead Americans, and a central government whose writ won’t run in half the country. Our policies in the last two years in this region have emboldened our enemies and disillusioned our allies, and in this case we didn’t get anything at all in trade for the unintended consequences we have reaped.