The UNSC resolution on the situation in Libya has become surprisingly far-reaching:
* no fly zone
* asset freeze
* permission to protect Libyan civilians with military action
but no occupation allowed.
The full text is here and here is additionally a list on which UNSC member voted for it or abstained.
The Council then adopted resolution 1973 (2011) by a vote of 10 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russian Federation).
This has yielded some harsh criticism and some support by German newspaper comments.
The harsh critique suggests that Germany should have voted with the Western powers in favour of the resolution. German minister of foreign affairs Westerwelle had promised that Germany was ready for accepting responsibilities in the UNSC and supposedly failed to do the same now.
This attitude is not supportable in my opinion.
The point of being a member in the UNSC is not to vote like a group of other members all the time. "Responsibility" does not equal slavish support of Western powers as during the Cold War, but independent thought and consideration. The chancellor and vice chancellor (= minister of foreign affairs) seem to have arrived at a different, more dovish, conclusion than France, UK and the US. They voted together with China and Russia as comments pointed out, but they also voted together with Brazil and India.
This wasn't a UNSC vote with self-evident result. There was no self-evident reaction to a clear aggression as in 1990, for example. The whole vote was very much a matter for consideration.
Some comments supposed that abstaining from this vote will hurt us politically, but I actually expect the opposite. Whom do you offer better trade-offs in negotiations? The party which always supports you or the party which makes up its mind independently?
The Bundeswehr will not participate in the Libyan affair other than with a few personnel on-board of AWACS AEW&C aircraft, which are joint NATO aircraft with mixed crews, registered in Luxembourg.
I read somewhere that Germany might at most support indirectly by relieving NATO a bit in Afghanistan, which makes no sense (since other forces are required and there are enough forces available) unless it's a backdoor approach for getting the parliament's support for a raise of the force limit in AFG.
The German air force will not be missed much over Libya. It has Typhoon fighters, modernised Tornado IDS attack aircraft and Tornado ECR Wild Weasels (capable of suppressing enemy air defences), but none of their capabilities are really in short supply in NATO.
Libyan loyalists are, after all, just another almost defenceless punching ball for the West, not a near-peer opponent.
The conservative-liberal government has coincidentally done something that I can support. It happens sometimes.