This oil-rich, North-African country gained independence in 1951 under King Idris. But the monarcy was short-lived as Idris was overthrown in a military coup d'état led by the eccentric Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi's 42-year rule came to a sudden end in 2011 when mass protests turned to civil war, and an international coalition intervened to protect the city of Benghazi from massacre. Although authorized by the Security Council, the intervention's apparent role in effecting regime change has infuriated countries like China and Russia, and the duration of American participation has raised questions about compliance with the War Powers Act. Since the intervention, Libya has slipped into chaos, and in 2012, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi in 2012 setting off debates and Congressional inquiries that continue today.

Latest in Libya


Do We Care Less About Air Strikes When Pilots Are in the Cockpit? The Droneless Air War in Libya

Are you paying attention to Operation Odyssey Lightning, the U.S. air campaign underway for a full month now in Libya? Not many people are, which is interesting considering that we are approaching 100 airstrikes there in four weeks.  



A Confederal Model for Libya

Although there has been some progress in forming a national unity government in Libya, “unity” is a rather inapplicable word for the country. In reality, friction between various political actors remains high. Ultimately, perhaps a form of disunity—confederation, rather than centralization—is the best model for Libya.


UN Draft Political Agreement for Libya

On Monday, the Special Representative and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Bernardino León, presented a new draft political agreement for Libya at a meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Process in Skhirat, Morocco. The document represents the product of five months of intense UN-sponsored negotiations, aimed at creating a national unity government for the battered country. 

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