Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass said today the one thing the Libyan rebels had in common “is now essentially realized” and “their success is their biggest problem.”
“It’s a good problem compared to everything else — but let’s be honest: It’s only the end of the beginning — and the real question is how and where we go from here,” Haass said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We’re probably not looking just at days or weeks — but months and even years of transition.
“You’ve got to create order, you want to avoid looting, you want to avoid tribalism, you want to avoid a real breakdown — like we saw in Iraq in the aftermath of Saddam,” he said. “And you literally have got to stand up virtually every component of modern society, so let’s forget about elections for a while — that’s down the road — we are talking about policing, we are talking about basic services, you’re talking about how you get millions of people ultimately back to work, feeling safe in their homes, safe in the streets.”
Haass said the Libyans are going to need help post-Moammar Gadhafi and you have “to be a real optimist” to believe that the rebels can succeed alone.
“ Instead, I think you are probably looking at some sort of international help, whether it’s NATO, the EU [European Union], some Arab countries, under the U.N. auspices that are going to have to work with them to stand up their country,” he said.
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