Combating ISIS and Securing the Peace in Libya
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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In the United States, events in Libya have been overshadowed in the media by the fighting in Iraq and Syria, ISIS inspired or operated terrorist attacks in Europe and the US, and the presidential election. It probably came as a surprise to many Americans when President Obama revealed that the aftermath following intervention in Libya was the worst mistake of his eight years in office. Appropriately, in his last authorization of a military strike, Libya was again brought to the forefront when the president ordered a massive airstrike by stealth bombers on ISIS targets in the country. Libya will continue to punctuate our foreign policy landscape for some time, as the new administration has called for the eradication of ISIS where just months ago the group controlled a strategic foothold. Additionally, the same conditions favorable to ISIS have turned Libya into the main conduit for migrants and refugees fleeing Africa by boat causing a crisis for our allies in Europe. The international intervention in 2011 seems a failurein terms of stability and the proliferation of violent extremist ideology. Russia has taken the opposite approach in Syria, intervening to protect an authoritarian regime from collapseat the tragic humanitarian expense of the Syrian people. While ISIS has recently been severely setback in Libya, counterterrorism without political solutions can only buy limited time for governance to fill the void. This essay provides background and insight into the events in Libya to inform readers of the counterterrorism operations, what is working against the group, and the prospects and challenges confronting Libyas efforts for stability and democratic governance.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics