Nato conflicted over desire to intervene in Libya and underlying pacifism
So the Libyan no-fly zone has been placed under the political and military umbrella of Nato. There is still some debate about whether the alliance should also endorse that part of the mission that has been dropping bombs on, or launching missiles at, Libyan ground targets.
But UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague have been predicting that this dispute too will be solved in the coming days.
For the moment then it remains a "two tier" operation, as I characterised it on Sunday, in which Nato agrees to do the easier bit - the flying over North Africa in order to knock down any of Colonel Muammar Gadaffi's aircraft - while leaving the trickier business of bombing forces in built up areas to the "coalition" of the US, UK, and France.
This difference of views, even if it persists beyond the few days predicted by Mr Cameron, ought not to wreck the campaign, because that smaller group of US-led nations can keep dropping bombs or launching missiles.
Col Gadaffi is hurting badly, and whether his survives for days or longer, he cannot win in the sense of re-establishing his control over the whole of Libya by force.
So why are we even writing or talking about this political disagreement then? Perhaps its greatest significance is as an example of the political, and perhaps even moral, weakness of many members of the Western alliance.
After all, the position of the countries that do not want launch bombs or missiles against ground targets is that they would like somebody else to do it for them. Several Nato countries, including two key members (Germany and Turkey), are simply convulsed with doubt about killing people on the ground.
These countries have approved the idea of a no fly zone, and accept that UN Security Council Resolution 1973 gives it a strong legal basis. They do not mind killing Libyan aircrew in the sky, by shooting down their aircraft, and they are quite content with the idea that the suppression of air defences (ie strikes against surface to air missile sites, command bunkers, or airfields) needed to allow the no fly zone to be established be done by someone else.
It would be one thing to oppose the whole idea of this operation - to object to all of the military action carried out, regardless of what military/political label is put on the command arrangements.
But while Germany, Turkey, and some other nations voiced doubts about the idea (and Germany abstained in the UN vote over resolution 1973), they do not feel strong enough to argue against the whole enterprise or indeed to use their veto power within Nato.
So the last minute argument to persuade these countries to accept that the whole operation needs to be placed under a Nato mandate continues. Meanwhile, many senior people in the alliance suspect that this political division will only become a serious issue, if somebody's aeroplane hits the wrong target and many civilians die.
At this point, having the whole operation under a Nato banner could become a liability, because one of the doubters might lead a movement for the whole thing to stop before its objectives have been met.
This is essentially what happened during the 1999 Kosovo air campaign when a number of countries tried (but failed) to start a movement for a "bombing pause" when the air offensive dragged on, claiming many civilian lives.
The idea that some innocent people may die in order to save the many is explicitly embraced by the Libyan rebel leadership and ought not to be a moral revelation to anyone who has thought about political philosophy.
It is after all the basis upon which developed societies accept all kinds of risks, from the one that speeding emergency services vehicles might run down pedestrians to the understanding that certain types of surgery end up killing rather than curing the patient.
So the present situation arises from political confusion - an understanding that the intervention is justified and therefore should not be blocked sits in conflict with an underlying sense of pacifism (in Germany), or Islamic sense of community (Turkey).
It all simply adds to the pressure facing those carrying out the air operations not to make mistakes. Decision makers in the UK, France, and America know also that it impels them to get this over with quickly - and it is at the intersection of military and political risk, that rushing for a result produces a terrible error, that the greatest hazard to this venture may lay.