James Forsyth

Cameron’s persistent leadership on Libya was key to tonight’s resolution

Cameron's persistent leadership on Libya was key to tonight's resolution
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David Cameron deserves huge credit for tonight’s Security Council vote. He has kept plugging away for a no fly zone and has succeeded in moving the Obama administration’s position.

Cameron’s decision to have Britain table with the French and the Lebanese a Security Council resolution without the support of the Americans or even having talked to the president was a bold move that has turned out to be a game changer. The Prime Minister has proved himself an effective and courageous actor on the world stage.

The question now is how quickly and effectively military force can be deployed and how Gaddafi is to be ousted. It, obviously, would have been better if the no fly zone had been imposed when the rebels had the military momentum. The challenge now is far more complex. But tonight's vote should, at least, prevent Gaddfai simply slaughtering those who remmain in Benghazi.

One immediate lesson of this crisis is that the idea of a common European Foreign Policy is simply not practicable. Britain and France have been in lead on this issue but still Germany abstained in tonight's Security Council vote.

Word is that British forces will be in action within hours. Tomorrow, David Cameron will hold Cabinet and then address the House of Commons.