In 2002, the UN Security Council passed resolution 1441, which was later a cause of much discussion, debate, and all that as some felt it gave legal justification for the Iraq War and some disagreed.
It would appear that since then the UN has learned to be a bit more specific in its pronouncements.
* Imposes “ban on all flights in Libyan airspace” except for aid planes
* Authorises member states to “take all necessary measures” to “protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack”
* Excludes occupation force
* Toughens arms embargo by calling on all member states to “inspect in their territory vessels and aircraft bound to or from Libya”
* Widens asset freeze to include Libyan Investment Authority, Central Bank of Libya and Libyan National Oil Company among others
Of course, there’s still scope for considerable action in there – it starts with no-fly zones but there doesn’t seem to be any specific prohibition against ground forces going in for strike missions as long as they don’t occupy after. I expect that certain gentlemen in the Hereford vicinity are getting ready for a little trip… Here’s hoping that it isn’t quite the fuckup that the last one was.