Libya

Foreign Affairs Article

Who Lost Libya?

Authors: Derek H. Chollet and Ben Fishman

A close call. It is tempting to view the chaos in Libya today as yet one more demonstration of the futility of U.S.-led military interventions. That is precisely the case that Alan Kuperman makes in his article (“Obama’s Libya Debacle,” March/April 2015), which asserts that NATO’s 2011 intervention in Libya was “an abject failure” that set free Libya’s vast conventional weapons stockpiles, gave rise to extremist groups, and even exacerbated the conflict in Syria.

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Other Report

Libya’s Escalating Civil War

Author: Daniel P. Serwer

The potential chaos highlighted by a 2011 Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Contingency Planning Memorandum, "Post-Qaddafi Instability in Libya," has come to fruition. Daniel P. Serwer outlines the unfolding crisis and recommends steps the United States, Europe, and Arab countries can take to help mitigate the fallout.

See more in Libya; Conflict Prevention; Fragile or Failed States

Interview

Is It Too Late For Libya?

Mary Fitzgerald interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

Post-Qaddafi Libya is riven along regional, economic, and religious lines, and may descend into civil war despite a recent flurry of international diplomacy, says journalist Mary Fitzgerald.

See more in Libya; Regional Security

Op-Ed

Chaos in Libya

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
Hoover Institution

Ever since an international coalition led by NATO forces helped topple the regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011, governance there has been in shambles. Recently the fighting among rival militias has escalated dramatically, and there is no political solution on the horizon.

See more in Libya; Democratization

Primary Sources

U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: "Review of the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi Libya"

This report about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi was released on January 15, 2014. It discusses how the attack could have been prevented and according to the New York Times, it is "the first public examination of a breakdown in communications between the State Department and the C.I.A. during the weeks leading up to the deadly episode at the diplomatic compound." The Accountability Review Board released an unclassified report on the embassy attacks in December 2012.

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Primary Sources

Senate Testimonies of Secretary of Defense Panetta and Joint Chief of Staff General Dempsey on the Attack of U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, February 2013

Author: General Martin E. Dempsey, USA

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chief of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 7, 2013, about the September attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya and the response of the Defense Department. Panetta's and Dempsey's prepared remarks and video of the hearing are available on the Committee's website.

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Foreign Affairs Article

After Qaddafi

Author: Dirk Vandewalle

The September 11 killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans during an attack by an angry mob on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has concentrated the world's attention on the problems of post-Qaddafi Libya.

See more in Democratization; Libya