A new Atlantic Council report examines the threats to Libya’s stability, provides a detailed mapping of the militia landscape, and details policy options for the Libyan government and its international partners.
In Libya’s Faustian Bargains: Breaking the Appeasement Cycle, the authors attribute the cycle of violence, intractable political stalemate, and weakened economy to the Libyan authorities’ continued policy of appeasing opponents.
The report, authored by Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Karim Mezran, Cambridge University researcher Jason Pack, and ForeignPolicy.com’s Mohamed Eljarh, identifies the strategic weakness of post-Qaddafi governments that have appeased political actors and militias for short-term support and stability.
The authors lay blame squarely on post-Qaddafi authorities for failing to urgently tackle the country’s dire economic, political, and security challenges, yet acknowledge the unique tribal and regional structures that complicate such efforts.
The report also outlines policy recommendations for a new Libyan government (once it is installed), transitional bodies, and the country’s Western and regional allies.
Report Jun 20, 2017
The origins and evolution of ISIS in Libya
By Jason Pack, Rhiannon Smith, and Karim Mezran
For the past three decades, Libya has been a rich recruiting ground for the global jihad. Investigating the precursors and then subsequent evolution of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and other extremist actors throughout this period presents actionable insights into how jihadist actors coalesce; how they interfere in post-conflict state building; the […]
Event Recap May 5, 2014
Libya’s Faustian Bargains: Breaking the Appeasement Cycle
Many Libya observers cite the Qaddafi-era legacy of weak institutions and the conduct of the 2011 revolutionary war as key obstacles to the country’s democratic transition. The new Libyan authorities’ policy of appeasement, however, is just as much a factor in undermining political progress. On Monday, May 5, 2014, the Rafik Hariri Center for the […]
Issue Brief Jul 11, 2017
Libya: From intervention to proxy war
By Karim Mezran and Elissa Miller
More than six years after Libya’s 2011 revolution against Muammar al-Qaddafi, the situation in the country is significantly more complex and dangerous. The failure of the 2011 NATO intervention to assist the country with a comprehensive stabilization process led to rapid deterioration on the ground and created an opportunity for external actors to pursue competing […]