From an editorial Thursday in the Washington Post:
A year after the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, President Barack Obamas pledge to bring the perpetrators to justice has yet to be fulfilled. Numerous people who participated in the assault have been identified, and some sealed indictments have been issued. But, as The Posts Karen DeYoung reported, no one has been taken into custody, and authorities still havent clarified who plotted the attack and whether it was timed for Sept. 11 or carried out in response to anti-American protests that day in Cairo.
Thats an understandable cause of frustration for Republicans in Congress as well as some military and law enforcement officials, the New York Times reports. The fact that leading suspects in the attack, which killed ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others, operate openly in Benghazi, occasionally offering interviews to U.S. media, is particularly galling. Some wonder why the administration does not push the Libyan government harder to take action against the suspects. Others say Obama should launch a unilateral U.S. raid, like that which killed Osama bin Laden.
In fact, there are good reasons for prudence. The Libyan government and much of the population views the United States favorably because of its help in overthrowing dictator Moammar Gadhafi; a strike could squander that rare goodwill in an Arab state. It could also further destabilize a moderate regime that already is struggling to keep the countrys economy functioning and complete the construction of a new democratic political system.
What Libya needs from Washington is much more help in building a state. In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry released this week, 28 experts, including former American diplomats, scholars and businessmen, urged U.S. technical support for the drafting of a new constitution that safeguards human rights, help in developing a long-term strategy to create an independent judiciary and training programs for security forces.
After helping to liberate Libya, the Obama administration and its European allies were too quick to walk away, leaving a shattered country. If they wish to avoid another Arab state descending into chaos, they need to come back.
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