It is unclear just why a West burdened with multiple crises decided to commit itself to Libya. The media drama around Benghazi, the weakness of the Gaddafi regime, its proximity to Europe, and the desire of Sarkozy and Cameron to relive bygone days as leaders of great powers all played a role.
The initial ambivalence of the Western commitment was clear for everyone to see. Airpower is a profoundly seductive instrument, seemingly available for a romantic weekend without strings or consequences. The knights of the sky were given a suitably gallant mission, protecting civilians. They were above, so to speak, the struggle for power in Libya.