The world after 9/11
But this was the world after 9/11, and a corrupt tyrant might be better than what succeeded him. Destroying Gadhafi would not bring liberals to power, but trigger the rise of warring rival militias and opportunistic jihadists. The U.S. was able to destroy an enemy armed force, but nationbuilding – creating new societies on the wreckage of the old – was not what the U.S. was good at anymore. Humanitarian intervention was an illusion. The suffering after intervention was frequently worse than before. Most important, the divergence of U.S. forces into one theater weakened the U.S.