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  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Although all indications are that most of the principal players favour a political resolution, the military situation will remain volatile as long as Haftar’s forces are in Sirte and remain in control of the economically vital oil region.
  • Topic: War, Natural Resources, Conflict, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Libya, North Africa
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The utilization of mercenaries has become one of the key predicaments in the Middle East, particularly in the hotbeds of armed conflict, including Libya, Yemen and Syria. Such militia are usually transferred through the use of civil flights, crossing land borders or smuggling through organized crime networks. This has been reflected by numerous evidence including the escalating tensions between the international powers such as ‘France’ and regional ones such as ‘Turkey’, even affecting the mutual hostility between the ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ and Ankara, and the latter's policy aiming at disturbing Libya's neighboring countries. In the case of Yemen, the Houthi militia and Islah party have also used African mercenaries. It is further evident in the warning given by the Yemeni government to ‘Tehran Mercenaries’ against turning Yemen into a battlefield after the murder of Qassem Soleimani.
  • Topic: War, Non State Actors, Houthis, Militias, Mercenaries
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, France, Libya, Yemen, North Africa, Syria
  • Author: Nilsu Gören, Wolfgang Pusztai, Jason Pack, Mohamed Htweish, Florence Gaub
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Over the last year, a new form of extraterritorial air war has proved extremely decisive in military conflicts in both Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh. In both instances, the Turkish backed side has emerged victorious, despite initially being on the backfoot. In 2019, it seemed Tripoli was on the verge of falling to the forces of General Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA.) The LNA had received military assistance in the forms of drones, mercenaries, and diplomatic support from the UAE, Egypt, and Russia. However, following an announced ceasefire, Turkey utilized the brief pause of fighting to turn the tide of battle by backing Haftar’s rival, the General National Council. The Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to launch a recent publication, “Turning the Tide: How Turkey Won the War for Tripoli.” Why did Turkey decide to fully engage in Libya’s Second Civil War? What strategies and tactics did Turkey establish throughout its involvement? Which modern military technologies helped shape the outcome of the War for Tripoli? What are the next likely steps in the international community’s mediation efforts in Libya?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War, Drones, Conflict, Proxy War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Hamzeh al-Shadeedi, Nancy Ezzeddine
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: National politicians and international actors cannot ignore the resilience of premodern tribalism in Libya. Libyan governance structures have historically relied on the top-down distribution of favours to selected tribal allies, rather than on inclusive and representative governance. Such arrangements took the shape of cyclical processes of selective co-optation, exclusion, rebellion and, again, new forms of selective co-optation. Even the uprisings of 2011, which symbolise the appearance of a national Libyan polity, was mobilised and organised along tribal lines. Accordingly, efforts to build a new Libyan state today should take into account the strong tribal character of Libya and should look into integrating tribal forces into the state in a manner that favours the central state project while simultaneously allowing for true representation and inclusion of all local and tribal entities. In this policy brief authors Al-Hamzeh Al-Shadeedi and Nancy Ezzedine provide recommendations on how to realistically and effectively engage with tribal actors and traditional authorities for the benefit of the current central state-building process while avoiding past mistakes.
  • Topic: War, Governance, Conflict, Tribes
  • Political Geography: Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Rina Bassist
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: Rina Bassist examines new alliances between international powers as a result of the ongoing Libyan civil war. The April 4 offensive launched by Gen. Khalifa Haftar and the National Libyan Army (LNA) to take control of Tripoli is now, as of May 2019, in its second month; regional actors are becoming fearful of a bloody stalemate. While the ongoing civil war in Libya has pitted mostly local forces against each other, countries such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia have allied against Italy and Great Britain, in an intensified diplomatic battle primarily being waged at the UN Security Council. In fact, the ongoing Libyan crisis has shattered traditional alliances. The usual global camps have been turned upside down, replaced instead by new, improbable partnerships. This article will deal with these new emerging alliances which are replacing, in this particular context, the long-established balance of power in the UN Security Council and the international arena. More particularly, we will look into the motives behind the strategic shift, and why world powers have abandoned their initial objectives for Libya.
  • Topic: War, Alliance, Crisis Management, Proxy War
  • Political Geography: Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Jonathan Spyer
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Regional rivals clash via proxies in Tripoli fight.
  • Topic: War, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya
  • Author: Tim Eaton, Lina Khatib, Renad Mansour, Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The Middle East Institute (MEI) hosted Chatham House experts Tim Eaton, Lina Khatib, and Renad Mansour for a discussion on the collapse of central authority and its economic impacts across states in the Middle East and North Africa. MEI senior vice president for policy analysis, research, and programs Paul Salem moderated. The panel explored the development of the war economies of Syria, Libya, and Iraq, examined the commonalities and differences in the three cases, and discussed the challenges of combating the economic power of armed insurgents.
  • Topic: War, Non State Actors, Economy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Libya, Syria
  • Author: Andrew Radin
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In developing U.S. intervention policy in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, and most recently Syria, the 1992 to 1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina has repeatedly been used as an analogy. For example, John Shattuck, a member of the negotiating team at the Dayton peace talks that ended the war, wrote in September 2013 that for Syria “the best analogy is Bosnia…Dayton was a major achievement of diplomacy backed by force…A negotiated solution to the Syria crisis is possible, but only if diplomacy is backed by force.” Many other analysts and policymakers with experience in the Bosnian conflict—such as Nicholas Burns, the State Department spokesman at the time; Christopher Hill, a member of Richard Holbrooke's negotiating team; and Samantha Power, who began her career as a journalist in Bosnia—also invoked the Bosnian war to urge greater U.S. involvement in Syria. Although the rise of ISIS has significantly altered the conflict over the last year, echoes of the Bosnian conflict remain in Syria: the conflict is a multiparty ethnic civil war, fueled by outside powers, in a region of critical interest to the United States.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Libya, Kosovo, Syria
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: As the tragedy in Tunis shows, the realities of the new terror spectacular of low-scale attacks with large-scale reactions-carried out by malevolent actors driven by motivation as much as affiliation-have pushed away the responsibility of effective counterterrorism from national agencies down to local police and security The age of large-scale international intervention into conflict areas has passed for the moment and the battlefield is shifting back from war zones to disaffected neighborhoods-forcing intelligence agencies to work extremely closely with local police to disrupt known wolves of terror instead of documenting their crimes after the fact While the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Bardo Museum attack, it's not as clear-cut as that, with family and social ties driving exposure to the ideology of bin Ladinism shared by AQIM and the Islamic State; and police are forced to look closely at smaller and more quickly radicalized networks instead of the organizational charts built with advanced analytical tools.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Libya
  • Author: V. Surguladze
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: In Ukraine, the West demonstrated once more the efficiency of its organizational weapon and its skill in pushing states into military operations of low intensity. there is still hope that unlike Serbia, Iraq, Libya, etc. Ukraine will not degenerate into another textbook study-case and a tick in the appropriate box in the list of successes of Western political technologists and experts in political coups and “protection of democracy.” While watching what is going on in Ukraine we should demonstrate the strength of spirit and a morally healthy social atmosphere so that to stand opposed to Western ideological attacks and to develop our state, rationally and consistently. Without this, it is impossible to survive in the world where certain countries have mastered the skills of disguising their destructive foreign policy aims with high-sounding phrases about common good and “human values and freedoms” which they distort beyond recognition.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, War, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Ukraine, Libya, Serbia
  • Author: Alan J. Kuperman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many commentators have praised NATO\'s 2011 intervention in Libya as a humanitarian success for averting a bloodbath in that country\'s second largest city, Benghazi, and helping eliminate the dictatorial regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi. These proponents accordingly claim that the intervention demonstrates how to successfully implement a humanitarian principle known as the responsibility to protect (R2P). In-deed, the top U.S. representatives to the transatlantic alliance declared that “NATO\'s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention.” A more rigorous assessment, however, reveals that NATO\'s intervention backfired: it increased the duration of Libya\'s civil war by about six times and its death toll by at least seven times, while also exacerbating human rights abuses, humanitarian suffering, Islamic radicalism, and weapons proliferation in Libya and its neighbors. If this is a “model intervention,” then it is a model of failure.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, War, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, Libya, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Sargon Hadaya
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: The regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria has been demonstrating a relatively high level of tenacity amid the proxy war raging in the country for over two years now. Indeed, the authoritarian regime in Tunisia folded up in two weeks; the Mubarak regime in Egypt, in slightly over four weeks; the Colonel Qaddafi regime collapsed after six months of NATO strikes. Russian expert Prof. Edouard Ozhiganov has offered a methodologically exact comment: “Any political regime can be described as stable to the extent to which it can neutralize inside and outside pressure using its own resources and instruments.”
  • Topic: NATO, Civil War, Politics, War, International Security, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Libya, Syria, Tunisia
  • Author: Jacob Heilbrunn
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: SINCE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, the United States has damaged its reputation and national security by lurching from one war to the next. Afghanistan, which began triumphantly for the Bush administration, has devolved into a protracted and inconclusive war in which the Taliban is making fresh inroads as American and allied forces hand over security to the Afghan army. Then there is Iraq. It was purveyed by the Bush administration to the American public as a mission that could be accomplished swiftly and smoothly. Neither occurred. Since then, President Obama's self-styled humanitarian intervention in Libya has led to instability, allowing local militias, among other things, to pretty much bring the oil industry to a standstill by disrupting major export terminals. Most recently, it looked as though Syria might be Libya all over again-an American president embarks on an uncertain crusade, and Britain and France join to provide the necessary diplomatic persiflage for justifying a bombing campaign.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: Britain, Afghanistan, France, Libya, Syria
  • Author: George A. Lopez
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The cases where sanctions have been applied to protect populations experiencing on-going or impending mass atrocities are few and have produced mixed results. The UN Security Council imposed various targeted sanctions in 2005 in the case of Darfur, and in Côte d'Ivoire and Libya in 2011.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, War, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Libya, United Nations
  • Author: Tom Kabau
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article examines the dilemmas and opportunities of the African Union, a regional organization, in implementing the responsibility to protect concepts in respect to forceful intervention to prevent or stop the occurrence of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union specifically mandates the Union to forcefully intervene in a Member State in such circumstances. Although the African Union has successfully resolved some situations where peaceful negotiations or consensual military intervention was sufficient, there has also been failure by the Union where such means fail or are inadequate. Such instances include the Darfur conflict where peacekeeping was insufficient, and recently in Libya where the African Union openly opposed enforcement of no fly zones to protect civilians. This article is of the view that the African Union's failure to implement Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act, even in deserving situations, may have been aggravated by the failure to institutionalize the concept of responsible sovereignty within the Union's legal framework and processes. Despite the forceful intervention mandate, there are also provisions that affirm the principles of non-interference. The AU system therefore fails to resolve the dilemma between sovereignty and intervention. Sovereignty preservation remains as an effective legal and political justification for non-intervention by the AU. This has promoted a subsequent trend of greater sovereignty concerns by the Union. Institutionalization of the concepts postulated under the emerging norm of responsibility to protect within the AU framework and processes can contribute to the elimination of the legal and political dilemmas of forceful intervention by the Union.
  • Topic: Crime, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya
  • Author: David Fisher, Nigel Biggar
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article is based on a debate held on 22 March 2011 at Chatham House on 'Was Iraq an unjust war?' David Fisher argues that the war fully failed to meet any of the just war criteria. By contrast, current coalition operations in Libya are, so far, just. This is a humanitarian operation undertaken to halt a humanitarian catastrophe that is taking place, with wide international support, including authorization by the UN Security Council. Nigel Biggar argues that the fact that the invasion and occupation of Iraq suffered from grave errors, some of them morally culpable, does not yet establish its overall injustice. All wars are morally flawed, even just ones. Further, even if the invasion were illegal, that need not make it immoral. Regarding Libya, Biggar notes the recurrence of conflict over the interpretation of international law. He wonders how those who distinguish sharply between protecting civilians and regime change imagine that dissident civilians are to be 'kept' safe while Qadhafi remains in power. Against those who clamour for a clear exitstrategy, he counsels agility, while urging sensitivity to the limits of our power. What was right to begin may become imprudent to continue.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Libya
  • Author: Elizabeth Ferris
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Protection of people from oppressive governments, civil conflict and disasters has moved to the top of the international agenda. The United Nations Security Council authorized all measures necessary to protect civilians in Libya as the airstrikes began. Humanitarian agencies—working in more places and under more difficult conditions than ever before—are grappling with the aftermath of Japan's massive earthquake even as they are also working with displaced people in Haiti and Ivory Coast and responding to hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Libya. And increasingly these agencies are not only trying to assist people through provision of relief items, but also trying to protect them. But with so many global organizations mobilizing to protect civilians when disasters strike and conflicts break out, the concept of protection has begun to lose its distinctive meaning.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation, United Nations, War, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Japan, Libya
  • Author: Naureen Chowdhury Fink, Paul Romita, Till Papenfuss
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Much has already been written about the 2011 Security Council. This has been with good reason. The current configuration of powerful non-permanent members with aspirations for permanent seats is notable. As a result, there has been widespread speculation regarding the impact so many large members will have on the tone and substance of the Council's work this year. Like last year, when countries like Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and Turkey all served together, the collective strength of the non-permanent or elected membership is impressive.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, International Organization, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, Turkey, Libya, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: As political uprisings and civil wars rage in the Middle East, and as America's self-crippled efforts to defeat Al-Qaeda and the Taliban limp on, the need to identify and eliminate the primary threats to American security becomes more urgent by the day. As you read these words, the Islamist regime in Iran is sponsoring the slaughter of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan,1 funding Hamas and Hezbollah in their efforts to destroy our vital ally Israel,2 building nuclear bombs to further “Allah's” ends,3 chanting “Death to America! Death to Israel!” in Friday prayers and political parades,4 and declaring: “With the destruction of these two evil countries, the world will become free of oppression.”5 The U.S. government knows all of this (and much more), which is why the State Department has identified the Islamist regime in Iran as “the most active state sponsor of terrorism” in the world.6 Meanwhile, the Islamist regime in Saudi Arabia is funding American-slaughtering terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban,7 building mosques and “cultural centers” across America, and flooding these Islamist outposts not only with hundreds of millions of dollars for “operating expenses” but also with a steady stream of materials calling for all Muslims “to be dissociated from the infidels . . . to hate them for their religion . . . to always oppose them in every way according to Islamic law” and, ultimately, “to abolish all traces of such primitive life (jahiliyya) and to reinforce the understanding and application of the eternal and universal Islamic deen [religion] until it becomes the ruling power throughout the world.” The Saudi-sponsored materials further specify that those who “accept any religion other than Islam, like Judaism or Christianity, which are not acceptable,” have “denied the Koran” and thus “should be killed.”8 None of this is news, at least not to the U.S. government. The Saudis' anti-infidel efforts have been tracked, documented, and reported for years. As the Rand Corporation concluded in a briefing to a top Pentagon advisory board in 2002, “The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader.”9 What is the U.S. government doing about these clear and present dangers? Nothing. Following the atrocities of 9/11, America has gone to war with Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya, but it has done nothing of substance to end the threats posed by the primary enemies of America: the regimes in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Instead, the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, continues the policy of seeking “negotiations” with the Iranian regime and calling the Saudi regime our “friend and ally.” This is insanity. And it is time for American citizens to demand that our politicians put an end to it. The Iranian and Saudi regimes must go. And in order to persuade American politicians to get rid of them, American citizens must make clear that we won't settle for anything less. Of course, the Obama administration is not going to take any pro-American actions against either of these regimes. But Americans can and should demand that any politician—especially any presidential candidate—seeking our support in the 2012 elections provide an explicit statement of his general policy with respect to Iran and Saudi Arabia. And we should demand that the policy be along the following lines . . .
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America, Libya, Saudi Arabia
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Strong support for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing was clearly evident at the opening of the 66th United Nations (UN) General Assembly between 21 and 27 September 2011. From the Secretary-General's reference to R2P as a priority for his second term, to the re-affirmation of government support for the norm in opening statements and the holding of a Ministerial meeting on R2P, clear consensus exists about the critical importance of R2P. At a moment when some were anticipating a backlash in the aftermath of the Security Council authorized civilian protection operation in Libya, the opening of the General Assembly reaffirmed that the imperative today is for states to work together to operationalize R2P.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Genocide, Government, Human Rights, Torture, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: George Shepherd, Peter Van Arsdale
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: Darfur is located in the Western part of Sudan and borders Libya to the north, and Chad and CentralAfrican Republic to the West. It had an estimated population of seven million (prior to refugee and IDPdisplacements), representing more than 70 tribes, and is potentially rich in natural resources includingoil, copper, and uranium, as well as reservoirs of subsurface "Pleistocene water."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya