Baron Von PWN wrote:yeah if you can find a ton of locals willing to put their lives on the line to fight their own government then it is a very cheap and effective method of intervention. However that situation isin't exactly dime a dozen.
Iran, 2010 or so during that row on the election.
The Arab Spring (so pretty much all of the middle east)
Syria (for the past year)
Afghanistan (1990s to early 2000s, with Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban---US did nothing significant)
But those (in my opinion) are more spontaneous as oppose to centrally planned (i.e. the result of foreign active measures). In the past 10-20 years, the US has had the opportunity to engage in the Libyan approach, so it can't be the case that these situations are a dime a dozen.
Besides, if the Libyan model proves most effective, then the US could gear up their hum int and implement active measures which would result in riots/etc. in the foreign country that they wish to change.
Baron Von PWN wrote:It's going on right now in syria. Likely with a libya style intervention assad wouldn't last much longer. However unlike Qadafi, Assad has got some friends willing to back him up. Its unclear how far those friends would go, but the risk make the potential costs a lot higher.
How do you know the risks and costs would be higher? Because Qadaffi had plenty of friends (who were apparently bought or were not agitated by a foreign occupation--e.g. Iraq and AFG).