Libya’s plans for a General Purpose Force have the potential to aid its security situation, but to be successful they must address a number of logistical, political, and institutional issues.
Although Libya has striven to build a democratic state, gradual erosion of a commitment to inclusion—particularly of women—undermines the new government’s potential legitimacy.
Given the grim prospects for resolving the crisis in Mali, North African governments will have to look South on security matters for years to come.
The ability of Libya’s Committee of Sixty to garner consensus is the next critical milestone for the country’s constitution.
Benghazi’s recent violence reveals an anguished search for relevance in a country already socially conservative.
Far from signaling the country's disintegration, the Barqa Conference reveals that the real debates are over decentralization not autonomy.
Distrustful of the NTC and one another, Libya’s militias resist immediate disarmament. Is it really a roadblock to democracy?
Qadhafi’s vocal disapproval of the Tunisia revolution is just the latest sign that he intends to prevent change in his own country; his son Saif al-Islam’s recent retreat from political and human rights work means that, at least for now, reform no longer has an address in Libya.
Libya's reconciliation and de-radicalization efforts signal a new approach to dealing with dissidents, if not necessarily a political opening.
Libyans and outsiders have yet to absorb the full import of Colonel Qadhafi's granting of the second most powerful position in the country to his reformist son.
Libyan leader Qaddafi's realization of his dream of African leadership and concurrent celebration of forty years in power offer a chance to redefine his impact on Libya.
Qaddafi's recent calls to dismantle most of the Libyan government are stretching his 1970s ideology farther than ever before.
Is America serious about democracy and political reform in the Arab world? Does the neo-Wilsonian dimension of the Bush administration's policy toward the region presage a decisive departure from the longstanding realist policy of "regime maintenance"?
There is broad consensus in Washington that a "war of ideas" is a central component of the larger war on terror. And in this war, a prime target is the "poisonous" Arab media environment, particularly the new satellite television channels , which are blamed for spreading anti-American sentiment.
In a series of bold decisions last December, the Libyan government openly acknowledged its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Within days of the announcement Mohamed Al Baradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), visited the country and soon afterward the government in Tripoli turned over its store of acquired literature and hardware to the United States.
For three decades, human rights violations in Libya were committed under the rubric of “revolutionary defense.” The government and its extensive security apparatus imprisoned or “disappeared” critics who challenged the ideology of the 1969 revolution that overthrew the monarchy or of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi's system of Jamahariya, the “state of the masses.”
As part of its emergence from political and economic isolation, Libya is converting to an open-market economy after decades of socialist-style policies. Among the most unpopular steps taken by the government so far has been cutting subsidies, which has triggered widespread anger among Libyans.
The second of June marked the second anniversary of the assassination of Lebanese writer Samir Qasir, with no indication of who ordered the car bombing that silenced one of the loudest Arab voices criticizing autocratic Arab regimes, particularly the Assad family in Syria.
Until recently Western assistance programs aimed at strengthening political parties were less present in the Arab world than in almost all other areas of the developing world. As part of the heightened U.S. and European interest in promoting Arab political reform, however, such programs are multiplying in the region.
Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi initiated a major shift in economic policy at the turn of the millennium. When early efforts at economic liberalization produced limited results, he stepped up the pressure in June 2003, declaring the public sector a failure, calling for the privatization of the economy, and pledging to bring Libya into the World Trade Organization.