Libya airstrikes could start 'within hours of resolution'
The latest draft I have seen goes well beyond calling for a no-fly zone. It says that the Arab League, individual nations and organizations like Nato are authorized to "take all necessary measures...to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat...including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force."
I am told the first strikes will be unilateral ones by British and French aircraft. They could be in the air within hours. It is likely five Arab air forces will take part. Hillary Clinton has said it will mean bombing Libyan air defences. Nato will step up if asked but could take a while.
Although there have been other recent UN operations this would be the most serious intervention in a crisis for a long time, a marked contrast to the division over Iraq. That does not ease the worries of some in the administration that this will still be labeled an American war and they will be dragged deeper and deeper into the affairs of another Arab nation.