Without a firm constitutional basis, early elections in Libya would not only produce a government whose legitimacy is contested even more widely, but also leave the door open for another strongman to rise to power.
It has long been an axiom among the rulers of each Maghrebi country to brandish their rhetorical commitment to regional integration while often-shamelessly suffocating the principles and prospects of unity.
Europe remains at fault for both failing to rebuild Libya following its 2011 intervention, and for increasingly relying on rights-abusing militias for its coast guard and migrant interdiction responsibilities.
Absent effective institutions, Libya has struggled and devolved into civil war since the fall of Qaddafi. But while the country has dropped off Western radars since the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, the story of Libya is far from finished.
The death of Muammar Qadhafi in 2011 freed Libya from forty-two years of despotic rule, raising hopes for a new era. But in the aftermath of the uprising, the country descended into bitter rivalries and civil war, paving the way for the Islamic State and a catastrophic migrant crisis. What went wrong?
It is true that Libya is often overshadowed by a host of other crises and challenges that demand America’s attention. But the country remains a place of great potential and resilience, and it affects U.S. and European interests beyond the threat of terrorism.