Ignoring History: America’s Losing Strategy in Libya
In an article for Critical Threats discussing the US strategy towards Libya, Emily Estelle writes that:
The current U.S. strategy will fail in Libya, as it has repeatedly in places such as Yemen, Iraq, and Syria. Further, ISIS is on track to resurge alongside al Qaeda.
The U.S. must develop a new strategy in Libya that prioritizes resolving the civil war. We should begin by working with our allies to isolate the country from the regional and global power competitions that are worsening the conflict within Libya. The U.S. should also support changes to the UN-backed unity government that promote inclusivity and reward stakeholders who are willing to compromise. We must keep pressure on ISIS while taking care to support the formation of legitimate armed forces that do not pursue polarizing political objectives or operate within al Qaeda’s orbit.
It is not too late for U.S. policy in Libya to succeed.ISIS is on its back foot, and many Libyan stakeholders are looking for paths to resolution. We must seize this opportunity to support a sustainable solution to the Libyan conflict so that recent success in Libya will stand the test of time. We otherwise risk watching Libya return to chaos and allowing ISIS and al Qaeda (and possibly Russia) to secure an enduring safe haven on Europe’s doorstep.
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