Retaking the Lead from Behind: A New Role for America in Libya
Civilian research project
STANFORD UNIV CA HOOVER INSTITUTION ON WAR REVOLUTION AND PEACE
Pagination or Media Count:
The Arab Awaking upended thirty years of U.S. regional engagement in North Africa and heightened Americas strategic interests in Libya. While militias dominate and destabilize the security environment in Libya, the countrys oil wealth, infrastructure, and largely ethnically homogenous, pro-Western population show promise for long term stability and prosperity. To transition Libyan security structures into guardians of institutionalized democracy, Libya must overcome the legacy of a regime which robbed it of human capital. The United States Government, and in particular the Department of Defense DoD, has employed many tools to assist Libya with this transition, but to date these have proved inadequate. Through a principled, low-cost approach, DoD can broaden steps to non-invasively support Libyas burgeoning democracy, employing tools such as defense advisors, security cooperation specialists, and Special Forces trainers. DoD can also enable the capabilities of international partners and allies, especially NATO. The payoffs are extreme success could lead Libya to becoming a longstanding U.S. regional security partner, while failure could result in continued chaos and an extremist safe haven.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations