Libya After Qaddafi

Libya After Qaddafi: Lessons and Implications for the Future

Christopher S. Chivvis
Jeffrey Martini
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
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  • Book Info
    Libya After Qaddafi
    Book Description:

    The 2011 overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi by internationally backed rebel groups has left Libya’s new leaders with a number of post-conflict challenges, including establishing security, building political and administrative institutions, and restarting the economy. This report assesses these challenges, the impact of the limited international role in efforts to overcome them, and possible future roles for the international community.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8492-7
    Subjects: History, Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    In late February 2011, Libya’s population revolted against Muammar Qaddafi’s four decades of dictatorship. Qaddafi threatened a brutal repression in response. After initial hesitations, NATO allies, acting under a mandate from the United Nations (UN) Security Council, attacked the regime and began a seven-month, low-intensity air campaign that eventually resulted in the demise of the regime. In August, Tripoli fell, and in October, Qaddafi was captured and killed by rebel forces.

    After its war, Libya had a good deal going for it compared with other postconflict countries. The rebels had been largely unified, democratic political transitions in neighboring Tunisia and...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Security After the War
    (pp. 7-34)

    The need to establish a safe and secure environment after the war was widely recognized both by international actors and by the Libyan rebels’ own postwar planning documents. A report undertaken under the auspices of the international contact group for Libya during the war, for example, noted the paramount importance of ensuring that “anti-Qaddafi militia do not evolve into armed wings of political factions, but are either merged into new, democratically accountable national security organizations or disarmed and demobilized.”¹ Similarly, the UN’s own initial study of the post-conflict planning environment noted the imperative that Libya “avoid chaos and ensure a...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Statebuilding Challenges
    (pp. 35-52)

    From a certain perspective, expanding violence in Libya was a direct consequence of the weakness of the Libyan state, which lacked sovereignty in the classical sense that it did not have a legitimate monopoly on the use of force within its territory. Libya’s basic statebuilding needs were, and remain, significant. The conditions under which these needs had to be met were also very challenging.

    On a fundamental level, Libya had to determine what its political system would be, so that the tensions that existed between social forces in the country could be resolved through a political process rather than violence....

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Economic Stabilization and the Oil Economy
    (pp. 53-64)

    Civil wars most frequently occur in states that lack the resources necessary to sustain the basic institutions of governance and provide public services. Libya, however, was wealthy in comparison with many other war-torn countries. Relatively high levels of per capita income made it look like a good candidate for an easy post-conflict transition, and economic activity was widely expected to return rapidly after the war. This, in turn, was expected to facilitate a stable transition to peace and lessen the financial burden on international donors. In theory, Libya should have been well placed to foot the bill for its own...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Alternative Strategies
    (pp. 65-78)

    Libya has not returned to war, but more than two years after Qaddafi’s death and on the third anniversary of the outbreak of the revolution, serious insecurity persists, the political process is stalled, and the economic outlook is deteriorating. Libya is clearly in better shape than Syria and some other countries in the region. It is also currently somewhat better off than Iraq, although this is largely due to Iraq’s recent deterioration: As Figure 5.1 shows, violence in Libya was higher on a per capita basis at certain points in 2012 than it was in Iraq, although Iraq reclaimed the...

  13. CHAPTER SIX Libyaʹs Future Path—Steps for the International Community
    (pp. 79-86)

    The United States and its allies have both moral and strategic interests in ensuring that Libya does not collapse back into violence or become a haven for jihadist groups within striking distance of Europe. Increased terrorist violence in Libya would have a terrible impact on the already fragile Sahel region, which has become increasingly susceptible to jihadist activities in the last decade. A standoff between major militia-backed groups that plunges the country back into civil war would have similarly negative consequences, as would the emergence of another autocratic ruler of the Qaddafi mold. Needless to say, if Libya—or the...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 87-98)