Negotiating a settlement seems overwhelmingly the right thing to do in Libya, but it will only work if the Coalition is prepared to meet Gaddafi’s needs for some sort of dignity and security in his exit.

The problem at the moment is that the Coalition doesn’t want to meet any of his needs, and that is why we currently seem to have no option other than to seek a depressing military solution which will require increasing violence and bloodshed to get anywhere. The Coalition’s highly aggressive attitude and public ruling-out of any compromise, has only served to harden Gaddafi’s attitude and resolve to fight to the end.

If necessary I would negotiate with anyone who can persuade Gaddafi to go quietly – including his son, Saif. This would be a far more effective way of ensuring regime change and a much better way of protecting Libya’s citizens, which is what the UN Mandate is meant to be about.

If only it was as simple to envisage a negotiated solution in Afghanistan. The problem here is that the Taliban know that the Coalition forces are going to leave anyway, so they have no reason to negotiate; they can just sit tight and wait for the UK and the US to meet their self-imposed deadlines for withdrawal. Perhaps if we had started talking earlier instead of militarily occupying their country for years we might have got somewhere, but I fear it may be too late now.

In response to two articles here ( and here (CNN)