Today, the United Nations Security Council voted 10-0 (with Russia, China, Germany, India, and Brazil abstaining) to authorize the creation of a no-fly zone over Libya, a country locked into a civil war after troops began firing on protesters who came out as part of the mass awakening that spread across the Arab world starting in Tunisia.
The resulting rebel movement found its stronghold in Cyrenaica, the eastern half of the country. They have set up a National Transitional Council in the chief Cyrenaican city of Benghazi. This council has been recognized by France, Portugal, the UK, and the Arab Council, which was the body which forwarded the proposal to authorize a no-fly zone to the Security Council.
While a no-fly zone sounds innocuous enough, it is an active military intervention that will involve bombing raids on Gaddafi’s anti-aircraft positions and there is always a threat that the conflict could escalate beyond what the Security Council authorized.