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.

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