Libya's Transitional National Council reports that Muammar Qaddafi is dead. That's great and welcome news. Finally. And it's especially great if, and we're still sorting this out, it was the Libyans who ended the notorious strongman's life not the United States of America or NATO.
The Libyans, and their new government, are the ones who need to own this war. They don't need the death of Qaddafi to have happened courtesy of the United States and or NATO.
The most pressing question now is what's next for Libya?
We can only hope that the long-suffering and courageous people of Libya can put the hunt for Qaddafi behind them and get on with forming an effective government.
The future is murky but a new chapter is already underway. The hard part is that we''re still not sure who these rebels are and what their connections might be to radical Islamists.
So what does today's news mean for the United States?
Then there's the War on Terror. If you look at the big picture, I'm less concerned with Qaddafi and much more concerned about his weapons of mass destruction. The Libyan strong man reportedly hid WMD around the country. -- I'm thinking of the roughly 20,000 shoulder-fired RPGs and manpads that can take out helicopters and commercial aircraft, whatever fissiles materials are left over from his already dismantled nuclear program (that could still be used to make dirty bombs), and any chemical weapons (for example, could there be mustard gas stockpiled somewhere?) that might be left. These are valuable items for looters and could end up in the international black market, where terrorists go shopping.
Obviously, a lot could go wrong. But if reports are true about Qaddafi's death then one thing has already gone right for Libya today.
Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland is a Fox News National Security Analyst and host of FoxNews.com's DefCon 3. She is a Distinguished Adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. She wrote Secretary of Defense Weinberger’s November 1984 "Principles of War Speech" which laid out the Weinberger Doctrine. Be sure to watch "K.T." every Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET on FoxNews.com's "DefCon3"-- already one of the Web's most watched national security programs.