Foreign Affairs Report: Libya in Crisis

  Qaddafi's Spawn: What the Dictator's Demise Unleashed in the Middle East
Yahia H. Zoubir 
July 24, 2012
The Libyan leader's ouster dispersed masses of guns and refugees across the region. Already, Algeria has seen attacks by AQIM militants armed with Libyan weapons, Mali has been rocked by a coup led by armed nomads returning from Libya, Niger is struggling to cope with waves of refugees from Libya and Mali, and Tunisia's economy has been shattered by the loss of its most important trading partner.
  Libya's Militia Menace: The Challenge After the Elections
Frederic Wehrey 
July 15, 2012
Libya's elections passed peacefully, but observers should have no illusions about the momentous challenges ahead, especially the task of rebuilding and formalizing the country’s security services. During its 16 months in power, the outgoing transitional government walked a fine line between trying to dismantle the country's regional militias and making use of them as hired guns. The strategy sowed the seeds for the country’s descent into warlordism.

NATO's Victory in Libya: The Right Way to Run an Intervention
Ivo H. Daalder and James G. Stavridis 
Mar/Apr 2012
NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been praised for saving lives and ending a tyrannical regime, write the U.S. permanent representative to NATO and its supreme allied commander for Europe. But to replicate the success, member states must reinforce their political cohesion and improve the burden sharing that made the mission work.
 

The Arab Spring at One: A Year of Living Dangerously
Fouad Ajami
Mar/Apr 2012
Terrible rulers, sullen populations, a terrorist fringe -- the Arabs' exceptionalism was becoming not just a human disaster but a moral one. Then, a frustrated Tunisian fruit vendor summoned his fellows to a new history, and millions heeded his call. The third Arab awakening came in the nick of time, and it may still usher in freedom.

Let Tripoli Try Saif al-Islam: Why the Qaddafi Trial is the Wrong Case for the ICC 
Timothy William Waters 
December 9, 2011
Ever since Saif al-Islam al-Qaddafi was captured last month by Libyan rebel fighters, the International Criminal Court has hoped to try him in The Hague. But the Libyan people bore the brunt of the Qaddafi regime's tyranny for nearly half a century, and it is to them that Saif al-Islam should answer.
What Post-Qaddafi Libya Has to Learn From Afghanistan: How to Avoid Decades of War
Michael Semple 
October 21, 2011
Arriving in Tripoli just after it fell to the rebels, the author witnessed several similarities between the Libyan capital in 2011 and revolutionary Afghanistan in 1992. They offer valuable lessons on how to avoid catastrophe.
The Death of the Qaddafi Generation: The Era of Arab Strongmen Comes to an End
Mohamad Bazzi
October 21, 2011
Unfortunately for him and for Libya, Muammar al-Qaddafi betrayed his own revolution, just as the other Arab strongmen of his generation had. His death marks the end of the rule of these old-style nationalist leaders.
  What Post-Qaddafi Libya Has to Learn From Afghanistan: How to Avoid Decades of War
Michael Semple
October 21, 2011
Arriving in Tripoli just after it fell to the rebels, the author witnessed several similarities between the Libyan capital in 2011 and revolutionary Afghanistan in 1992. They offer valuable lessons on how to avoid catastrophe.
Behind Qatar's Intervention In Libya: Why Was Doha Such A Strong Supporter of The Rebels?
David Roberts
September 28, 2011
Although Qatar has been an active player in the Middle East for some time, its intervention in Libya represented a dramatic break with its behind-the-scenes diplomacy of the past. Qatar hopes to turn its aid to the Libyan rebels into a role as an invaluable go-between for Western countries looking to engage post-Qaddafi Libya.
The Libyan Oil Tap: How to Get the Country's Production Back Online
Edward L. Morse and Eric G. Lee
September 6, 2011
Bringing Libyan crude oil back to market will ease world prices and provide much-needed funding for Libya's new government. But getting the pumps flowing again will not be easy.
  The Libyan Rebels and Electoral Democracy: Why Rushing to the Polls Could Reignite Civil War
Dawn Brancati and Jack L. Snyder
September 2, 2011
Elections held too soon after a civil war often end in violence. The UN and the NTC should defer their plans until the rebel factions have disarmed and Libya has developed a civil society and modern political institutions.
Libya and the Obama Doctrine: How the United States Won Ugly
Michael O'Hanlon
August 31, 2011
The U.S. campaign was a success but a provisional and limited one. Qaddafi is gone, but his ouster will not become a model for future interventions.
 

Libya and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention: How Qaddafi's Fall Vindicated Obama and RtoP
Stewart Patrick
August 26, 2011
Qaddafi's defeat at the hands of the Western-backed rebels was a triumph for Obama and the principle of humanitarian intervention -- one that is, unfortunately, unlikely to be repeated any time soon.

  Libyan Nation Building After Qaddafi: Helping the Rebels Help Themselves
James Dobbins and Frederic Wehrey
August 23, 2011
With Qaddafi's ouster imminent, the West must plan for post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction.
Vandewalle

Rebel Rivalries in Libya: Division and Disorder Undermine Libya's Opposition
Dirk Vandewalle
August 18, 2011
As Libya's rebels push forward in their fight to unseat Muammar al-Qaddafi, factional rivalries and a climate of general disorder threaten to upend their military and diplomatic victories.

Rasmussen NATO After Libya: The Atlantic Alliance in Austere Times
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
July/August 2011
NATO's success in Libya shows how important and effective the alliance remains, writes its secretary-general. But with Europe rocked by the economic crisis and slashing military budgets, future missions will be imperiled unless NATO members get smarter about what and how they spend.
Qaddafi What Qaddafi Said: Excerpts from Libyan Leader Muammar al-Qaddafi's Last Televised Address
The Editors
June 4, 2011
As NATO intensifies its campaign in Libya, read a translation of Qaddafi's most important televised address. From the new Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.
Qaddafi Wanted: Qaddafi & Co.: Can the ICC Arrest the Libya Three?
David Kaye
May 19, 2011
The International Criminal Court took a risk in issuing arrest warrants for Muammar al-Qaddafi and other Libyan officials: it remains unclear whether the warrants will ever be enforced and, beyond that, what effect they will have on the conflict in Libya.
 Stevenson AFRICOM's Libyan Expedition: How War Will Change the Command's Role on the Continent
Jonathan Stevenson
May 9, 2011
Operation Odyssey Dawn will make life even harder for the U.S. Africa Command.
Mampilly

Rebels With a Cause: The History of Rebel Governance, From the U.S. Civil War to Libya
Zachariah Mampilly
April 13, 2011
The Libyan opposition based in Benghazi is just the latest in a long history of rebel governments, from the U.S. Confederacy to the recently victorious opposition in Ivory Coast. Is it time for the international community to rethink the process of recognizing such de facto states?

Ohanlon

Winning Ugly in Libya: What the United States Should Learn From Its War in Kosovo 
Michael O'Hanlon
March 31, 2011
The Obama administration has been criticized for its muddled approach to intervening in Libya. But as the experience of Kosovo suggests, an ugly operation is not the same as a failed operation, and even a mission that starts off badly can end well.

Mueller

The Iraq Syndrome Revisted: U.S. Intervention, From Kosovo to Libya 
John Mueller
March 28, 2011
Due to the U.S. experience in Iraq, Americans became skeptical of intervening in overseas conflicts. Much of this "Iraq syndrome" can be seen in the hesitant approach to the chaos in Libya.

 Carpenter

Flight of the Valkyries? What Gender Does and Doesn’t Tell Us About Operation Odyssey Dawn
Charli Carpenter
March 28, 2011
Commentators are falling over themselves to explain the “gender divide” among Obama’s staff. But these discussions reveal far more about gender misconceptions among foreign policy journalists than about the preferences or influence of Obama’s female foreign policy staff.

 Zenko

The Mythology of Intervention: Debating the Lessons of History in Libya 
Micah Zenko
March 28, 2011
In the debate over whether -- and how -- to intervene in Libya, many commentators and policymakers have relied on a number of garbled lessons from history. Believing in these myths often leads to a more interventionist foreign policy.

 Patrick

A New Lease on Life for Humanitarianism: How Operation Odyssey Dawn Will Revive the Responsibility to Protect
Stewart Patrick
March 24, 2011
The United States and its coalition partners’ decision to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya seemed to be a vindication of the fragile “responsibility to protect” norm. But just how strengthened RtoP will be depends on how well the intervention turns out.

vandewalle

To the Shores of Tripoli: Why Operation Odyssey Dawn Should Not Stop At Benghazi
Dirk Vandewalle
March 21, 2011
If the hurried diplomatic negotiations leading up to Resolution 1973 seemed a Herculean task, they may pale in comparison to the challenge that comes next: keeping Libya intact and on the road to recovery.

Doyle

The Folly of Protection: Is Intervention Against Qaddafi’s Regime Legal and Legitimate?
Michael W. Doyle
March 20, 2011
The UN authorization of a no-fly zone in Libya gives teeth to the much-heralded “responsibility to protect." But the intervention poses legal and ethical dilemmas that will plague policymakers in the weeks and months ahead.

Betts

The Delusion of Impartial Intervention
Richard K. Betts
November/December 1994
In this 1994 article, Richard Betts argues that when the United States intervenes in other countries' domestic wars, it must take sides among groups to ensure someone is in charge at the end of the day. Interventions that aim to be evenhanded prevent the very peace they seek to create.

 Hunter

What Intervention Looks Like: How the West Can Aid the Libyan Rebels
March 16, 2011
Robert E. Hunter
With the Libyan rebels now facing a last stand against forces loyal to Muammar al-Qaddafi, now is the time for the West to intervene. What can Washington and its allies accomplish before it's too late?

Wehrey

Libya's Terra Incognita: Who and What Will Follow Qaddafi? 
Frederic Wehrey
February 28, 2011
For decades, the outsized personality of Muammar al-Qaddafi has obscured the many rivalries among Libya's domestic groups, from the tribes to the military. With the Qaddafi era coming to a likely end, how will these actors now vie for supremacy?

 Takeyh The Rogue Who Came in From the Cold
Ray Takeyh
May/June 2001
The recent trial of two Libyans for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, raises a vexing problem for U.S. policymakers: What should Washington do when American containment policy starts to pay off and a "rogue" state starts to reform? After years of international isolation, Colonel Mu'ammar Qaddafi is ending his belligerence and starting to meet many of the demands placed on him by Washington and its allies. Now President Bush must figure out how to keep the pressure on while recognizing Libya's progress and helping reintegrate it into the world community.
 Voirst The Colonel in His Labyrinth
Milton Viorst
March/April 1999
A Western journalist travels to Libya for an exclusive interview with Colonel Mu'ammar Qaddafi and finds a country struggling to modernize. Tired of suffering under the U.N. embargo, Libya may be ready to hand the suspected Lockerbie bombers over for trial. After being pariahs for over a decade, most Libyans seem eager to reenter the international community. But power in their country is divided between bureaucrats who favor the West and the old, fiercely anticolonial revolutionaries who still cherish Qaddafi's defiance. The bureaucrats are ready to put Libya's rotten image behind them, but the colonel is leery.
 Schuhmacher The United States and Libya
Edward Schumacher
Winter 1986/87
US policy towards Libya has confused the aim of stopping Libyan-inspired terrorism with that of overthrowing Gaddafi, and is based on a false picture of the domestic situation in Libya. Describes the economic status of Libya and its political organization. The regime should be left to its own 'self-destruction'.

 

Summary: 

Continuing Foreign Affairs coverage of the uprising in Libya.