So it looks like our true motivation for being in Libya has been exposed: to get rid of Colonel Gaddafi.
As I argued when we first went in regime change was clearly Cameron and Sarkozy's motivation. They said it was about protecting civilians, justifying another Middle East intervention of bombing a country to get what we want. So now what? What if air strikes don't oust him? Do we deploy ground troops? Commit greater resources? Remain in Libya for as long as it takes and get pulled into another Afghanistan, where our troops risk their lives rebuilding a nation that we have helped destroy?
Look, I'm far from fond of Gaddafi. But Britain's already stretched Armed Forces shouldn't be used by Prime Minister's so readily to promote themselves as leading international figures. What is going on in Libya is a civil war, yet we mindlessly decide to go in and take sides. There is now talk of us arming the rebel fighters. But I ask again, who are these rebels? Evidence shows they are deeply divided and tribal themselves. Once the common enemy of Gaddafi has gone, will they really remain united? Unlikely. And of course, this change in stated aim has had no approval from the House of Commons. Our Parliament once again appears sadly impotent on such important matters.
As the lessons from the past clearly have not been learnt, do not be surprised if our intervention destabilises Libya in the long term, and leaves the country's new head figure far better armed and more of a danger to our nation than Gaddafi ever was.