Category Archives: Libya

The New Iraq? Libya After Gaddafi

Gaddafi is dead and the Libyan people are outside in the streets, celebrating their victory against the 42 year dictatorial regime. Yet while the dictator is gone, difficult choices lie ahead for the Libyan people.

Libya has not become a “new Iraq” in the sense of western forces undertaking the same role they did in that country. Rather the West preferred to conduct a proxy war against the regime through the rebels. So, the rebels took the victory, killed the dictator and now they are expected to re-build their own state. This is no bad thing! After all, the coalition forces did an extremely poor job in Iraq and no one would expect them or want them to treat Libya as Iraq – mark II.

Yet, it would be naïve of us to think that the West will now leave Libya alone to stand on its own feet, and, most importantly, rely on its own resources! Therefore, despite the fact that the toppling of the Libyan regime took place under different circumstances and was undertaken by different actors than those involved in the downfall of the Iraqi one, the presence and influence of the West or at the very least of western interests – will be very obvious.

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Will Libya be the New Iraq?

The coalition military intervention in Libya that began on March 19th was an example of a well coordinated and organised operation, with a legitimate legal mandate in the form of UN Resolution 1973. Nonetheless, there are several debates regarding the intervention in question as well as the strategy that is being followed by the coalition.

There are two central questions that should be answered in order to understand the discourse regarding the intervention in Libya: (a) what do we want to achieve? (b) How far are we willing to go? If the operation has limited goals such as the maintenance of the no-fly zone it would probably be qualified as a success whereas if the plan is to intervene politically undertaking peace/state-building operations, it might result in a catastrophe or in a long-lasting, torturous situation like Iraq.

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