Wall Street Journal

Libya’s Foul Foretaste of the Post-American World

Ravenel B. Curry III Distinguished Fellow in Strategy and Statesmanship
Buildings damaged from fighting south of Tripoli, Libya, June 21.
Buildings damaged from fighting south of Tripoli, Libya, June 21.

Does Libya show us the future of world politics?

U.S. engagement there has been minimal since a 2012 terrorist attack killed four Americans, including the ambassador, and traumatized the Obama administration. In America’s absence, over half a dozen powers are struggling to control Libya’s future, carving up its territory, and subsidizing militias and warlords as they compete for control over its oil and gas. No end to the war is in sight.

On one side Turkey and Qatar, with some discreet Italian cheerleading, back the Tripoli-based warlords and affiliated tribal leaders whom the United Nations has anointed the “legitimate” government of Libya, the so-called Government of National Accord, or GNA. On the side of the challenger coalition of tribal leaders and warlords stand France, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. The latter coalition is led most visibly by Khalifa Haftar, a rogue field marshal who heads what he calls the Libyan National Army.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal