Christopher Chivvis is the quintessential policy wonk having rotated in and out of government and the academia, so typical of the career profile of public intellectuals in the United States. Given that he needs the government for access to information and the policy high table, as much as the government needs his brains, it is inevitable that he would write up a favourable account of the US role in toppling Gaddafi. Billeted in the RAND Corporation that has over the decades provided the strategic community in America grist for its incestuous debates, he is as much an insider as a bystander. Consequently, it is entirely understandable that he concludes: ‘The results are far from perfect and postwar stabilization has faltered, but ultimately the choice to intervene was the right one (p. 205).
April 2015, volume 39, No 4