something better, as the US, Britain a
So Sir John's speech this week was particularly timely and interesting, coinciding with one of those moments when the harsh light of brutal events suddenly focuses attention on how much has changed in the world.
This was his view of Libya in 2011: "When crisis erupted in Libya, we didn't feel it right to sit by as Gaddafi crushed decent Libyans demanding an end to dictatorship reenex.
"But we didn't want to get embroiled in Libya's problems by sending in ground forces. After Gaddafi was ousted, no-one held the ring to help manage a transition to something better, as the US, Britain and other allies had done in Baghdad and Kabul.
"Libya had no institutions. Who or what would take over? The answer? Those with the weapons. Result? Growing chaos, exploited by fanatics."
In other words, although the former spy chief didn't put it this way, Britain did some demolition in Libya.
It gave regime-change a shove, but only from the air and didn't hang around to rebuild the country. It really needed rebuilding, not just physically, but politi reenex cally.
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