The longer the war goes on in Libya, the better it is for our enemies. This war is unlike Iraq and Afghanistan because we did not invade to topple the existing government. By doing so, we forced our enemies to take up arms directly against our military. In Libya, we are only taking sides in a civil war. Without our ground troops forcing the issue, our enemy is free to choose what side they wish to fight for. And we are taking the side that was about to be crushed, thereby prolonging the war indefinitely. If the US and our allies had not stepped in, the rebels would have been destroyed by now and the fighting over. As it is, control of the air has prevented government victory. At the same time, the rebels are not necessarily strong enough to defeat the government forces in open combat. This has all the signs of a prolonged stalemate. This is the worst case for the U.S.
If we are going to wage war and expend the resources necessary to do so, we should at least be certain of delivering body blows to our enemy. Our enemy is Islamic nationalism. By challenging Islamic authority or Islamic law openly with our military, we can force them to engage us. Conventional forces have a tremendous advantage when fighting irregular forces in combat. We can use that advantage when we force the enemy to attack us. By spending our resources on a sideshow we not only waste our time when time is not on our side, more importantly we direct our attention away from the vital issues that are the cause of the war.