World News Brief, Thursday March 24

Obama says again he wants US to relinquish "leading role" in Libya; Qaddafi remains defiant; Tokyo water is unsafe for infants, but there is no immediate threat to adults, officials say; Australians protest proposed carbon tax; Six killed in Syrian mosque raid; Portuguese lawmakers to vote on austerity measures; and more

Top of the Agenda: Allies Struggle to Unify over Libya


As the international military campaign against Muammar al-Qaddafi's regime entered its fifth day, U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders from Britain and France worked toward an agreement that would clarify command over joint military operations (NYT). Obama reiterated the U.S. desire to relinquish its leading role "within days." Analysts suggest NATO is likely to take over "command and control" responsibilities, but in a subsidiary role under separate leadership. Speaking in Tripoli in his first outing since air strikes began, Qaddafi (Guardian) remained defiant and vowed not to surrender. In the past twenty-four hours, Qaddafi forces continued their daily assaults on the towns of Misurata, Ajdabiya, and Zintan despite the no-fly zone. Coalition strikes and anti-aircraft fire were heard around Tripoli (al-Jazeera) for a fourth straight night.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (ABC) suggested people close to the Qaddafi regime are "exploring" exit options, and said one of Qaddafi's sons has been killed. Analysts suggest allies have yet to address the potential scenario of a long military standoff, where Libyan civilians are protected, but Qaddafi remains in power (WSJ).


In this op-ed for Politico, CFR President Richard N. Haass writes that the United States has now embarked on its third war of choice in less than a decade. And like the 2003 Iraq war and the Afghan war after 2009, this war is ill-advised.

This blog from the Economist examines what "success" might look like in Libya.

In the New York Times, CFR's Max Boot discusses the problems in a post-Qaddafi Libya.


The UN Security Council resolution regarding Libya was passed on March 17, 2011.


In this series of video interviews from the New York Times, more than two dozen people under thirty, from Libya to the West Bank, talk about their generation's moment in history and prospects for the future.


PACIFIC RIM: Tokyo Water Deemed Unsafe for Infants


Japanese authorities cautioned that very young children in Tokyo should avoid drinking tap water after it was found to have twice the safe level of radioactive iodine (Guardian). Officials said the situation did not pose any immediate threat to the adult population.

This interview with defense expert Seth Cropsey examines the legacy of the U.S. Navy's humanitarian role in recent years, including its current mission in Japan.

Australia: Hundreds of protestors gathered across Australia to denounce the Labor government's proposed carbon tax (BBC). Activists claim that without a globalized agreement, the tax will cost jobs and threaten the competitiveness of Australia businesses.



- Six Dead in Syrian Mosque Raid
- Portugal Flirts with Financial Bailout

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on