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Old 08-21-2011   #1
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Default The new Libya: various aspects

There is a main thread 'Libya goes on' with just under 1k posts and 31.6k views, which ws locked when this thread started and remains locked (January 2012):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=12610

Now as it appears the rebels are near, even in, Tripoli is the end for the Gadafy regime in sight? So a new thread is appropriate IMHO; a note has been added to the other thread.

As this thread concerns the new Libya I have today changed the title from 'Libya: nearing the end? Towards a new Libya' to 'The new Libya: various aspects'

I commend (again) http://www.enduringamerica.com/ which has several maps of Tripoli, with district names and a link to a Google map showing reported activity:http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/...n-tripoli.html
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-20-2012 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Adding Mods Note and today title change.
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Old 08-21-2011   #2
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There is a main thread 'Libya goes on' with just under 1k posts and 31.6k views:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=12610

Now as it appears the rebels are near, even in, Tripoli is the end for the Gadafy regime in sight? So a new thread is appropriate IMHO; a note has been added to the other thread.

I commend (again) http://www.enduringamerica.com/ which has several maps of Tripoli, with district names and a link to a Google map showing reported activity:http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/...n-tripoli.html
David,

Sorry for this critical note, but I think that "nearing the end" is not an appropriate title for this new tread. Ok, Gadafy will be gone soon. But experience shows that this simply means that the cause that held the rebels (and NATO) together will soon be gone. What will come next may be pretty, or not. I suggest changing the title of this tread to "towards a new Libya".
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Old 08-21-2011   #3
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Sorry for this critical note, but I think that "nearing the end" is not an appropriate title for this new tread. Ok, Gadafy will be gone soon. But experience shows that this simply means that the cause that held the rebels (and NATO) together will soon be gone. What will come next may be pretty, or not. I suggest changing the title of this tread to "towards a new Libya".
Good point, Marc.
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Old 08-21-2011   #4
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Default Thread title compromise

OK, title amended and currently a compromise. If it is the end of Gadafy's regime it can be changed again.
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Old 08-22-2011   #5
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Default Libya News Roundup

Libya News Roundup

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Old 08-22-2011   #6
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Default Snippets

Amidst all the reporting, which is dominating UK TV news today, were a couple of interesting points made:

Libya had the two advantages of oil and no standing army
The bulk of the rebels in Tripoli are well disciplined Berbers
A couple of references to Special Forces presence
The TNC President calling for no reprisals, that all party leaders had agreed to this, but some of their followers were not complying
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Old 08-22-2011   #7
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The bulk of the rebels in Tripoli are well disciplined Berbers
Certainly, the breakthrough from the Nafusa Mountains to Zawiyya, and then along the coast into Tripoli was essential to the regime's collapse--and the Berbers (I wouldn't call them "well disciplined") were essential to that.

However, it isn't the case that "the bulk of the rebels in Tripoli" are Berbers—not everyone in Nafusa is Berber, volunteers from Zawiyya joined the push, the NTC had relocated its Tripoli Brigade (consisting of fighters originally from Tripoli) to the west for the offensive, fighters from Misurata arrived from sea and from the east, and many Tripoli neighbourhoods were seized by local rebels before outside columns arrived.

This isn't in any way to denigrate the remarkable contribution of Libyan Berbers to the struggle against Qaddafi. They had been treated very poorly by the regime for 42 years--and clearly in this case "what goes around, comes around..."
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Old 08-22-2011   #8
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Hereafter an interesting view on the outcome of the Libyan revolution:

http://abcclio.blogspot.com/2011/02/...jected-to.html

Quote:
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Libya: Another Power Bank Subjected to a Stress Test

By Erik Claessen


Revolutions are unpredictable, dynamic, and stirring, but they tend to follow a small set of simple rules. Drawing on Talcott Parson’s sociological theory, Charles Kurzman concisely explains why: “Coercion, he suggests, is like the reserves of a bank. So long as the demands on it are limited, the reserves can be meted out effectively. When there is a run on the bank, however, the reserves are quickly overwhelmed. No matter how great the reserves of coercion may have been, no state can repress all of the people all of the time.”(1) Revolutions are to an autocratic regime what stress tests are to a bank: a method to check their credibility.


The rules — Revolutions temporarily upset the balance between mobilization power and organizational skills. People like stability. When offered a choice between an acceptable status quo and a better, yet uncertain alternative, most people will opt for the former. The status quo only loses its appeal when people realize it has become unsustainable, but even then revolutions do not start spontaneously. Someone or something needs to mobilize the people to start them. The occurrence of revolutions revolves around mobilization power. Conversely, their outcome revolves around organizational skills. Put differently, the actor with the highest mobilization power leads the revolution, but the actor with the best organizational skills wins it. Organizational skills generate the capacity to create a new, acceptable, and stable situation. Mobilization power revolves around a rallying message and access to media that allow its dissemination despite the regime’s countervailing efforts. The media can be anything as long as they escape state control, but the rallying message has to fulfill specific requirements. It needs to bring about a run on the Power Bank. The message has to focus everybody’s courage and anger simultaneously on one cause. An autocratic regime can only be overthrown by overwhelming its reserves of coercion with a defiant mass.


The players — A classification by role:
•The focal point. The revolutionaries focus their mobilizing message on the autocrat and his immediate entourage. In Libya, the focal points are – of course – Qadhafi himself and his sons, primarily his eldest son, Sayf Al-Islam.
•The regime’s wannabes. The military and security top of the regime are undoubtedly capable of taking power. That is why Qadhafi created overlapping security institutions and appointed people on the basis of tribal affiliation. Until now, the survival of the regime’s wannabes depended on their ability to conceal their ambition. That is why it is impossible now to identify them.
•The tolerated, but organizationally capable opponent. Though not as powerful as their Egyptian brethren, the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood is a capable movement. Its charitable activities demonstrate their organizational power but they have to shed the doubt concerning their relation with the regime that tolerated them. Recently, Qadhafi sought an accommodation with the brotherhood by releasing a lot of imprisoned members. Sayf Al-Islam also publicly reached out to the organization. That the Brotherhood gradually shifted from confrontational to influencing strategies may have alienated part of the population. The fact that its leader, Suleiman Abdel Qadir, currently resides in Switzerland and does not participate in the revolution is probably not helpful either.
•The emerging, but organizationally incapable opponents: These primarily consist of those who lead the revolution. As an emerging movement they lack organizational experience and structure. They will try to close their organizational gap as quickly as possible. Alternatively, revolutionaries may try to mask this gap by claiming symbols of a political model that worked before, like the monarchy that was ousted by Qadhafi in 1969.


The tricks — As in any game, the tricks fit the rules. Their application can be observed in endless variations throughout the Middle East:
•Discrediting the message or the messenger. Regime rhetoric routinely depicts the opposition as Israeli or western lackeys, but this trick lost all effectiveness.
•Denying access to the media. Revolutions used to be won by the group that gained control of the national television station. However, media denial is an exercise in futility when revolutionaries exploit modern, uncensored communication technology. This is not new. During the Iranian revolution, regime opponents used audiocassettes – then a new technology – to circumvent state censorship of radio broadcasting. Now opponents use cell phones and social networks on the internet.
•Remove the focal point of the mobilizing message. This is by far the best trick in the regime’s toolbox. Replacing the autocrat with someone who can at least claim the benefit of the doubt may stifle mobilization and reduce resistance to a level manageable by the regime’s reserves of coercion. Any regime wannabe can play this card.
•Await chaos and offer an alternative to it. This is a dangerous move that is only feasible for an actor with sufficient organizational skills to offer an acceptable alternative. It is unsure whether the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood is capable of this.


The outcome — The ultimate outcome is not determined by how many people the actors mobilize, but by what their organizational skills can provide. Each possible outcome has advantages and drawbacks. Democracy will bring freedom and economic opportunities, but also inflation and income inequality. Islamism will bring social justice and religious purity, but also social rigidity. A new autocracy will merely turn back the clock. For Libya, the problem is that democracy and oil do not mix well. Russia has shown that in oil economies, economic liberalization gives rise to the emergence of oligarchs resulting in a call for a strong regime. A Libyan democratic government will most probably be unable to combine freedom and social justice. In an oil economy there are but few methods to re-distribute wealth. The two most likely foundations of a new social contract are either a patronizing system granting government jobs on the basis of subservience or a social security system based on the Islamic duty to help the poor. The former could evolve into a new autocracy. The latter would tend towards an Islamist state.
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Old 08-22-2011   #9
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Default The End as Beginning...

The Gospel according to the furrin policy establishment as an OpEd titled "Libya Now Needs Boots on the Ground" in the Financial Times...

LINK.

That "boots" bit is as overused and Upper West Side hokey as the 'Warrior' shtick.

Six months later, I still contend there is not an ounce of real as opposed to presumed or wanna-be assumed US interest in Libya. If Europe has a problem there, then Europe should address it. None of our affair. Could be a US domestic politics and budget influencer, though. Surely those wouldn't be considerations...
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Old 08-22-2011   #10
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Default Boots on the ground

During the day, I think it was a junior UK foreign minister, there was a hint that 'experts' from the UK Stabilisation Unit who'd been planning for this day for moths were ready to go.

Their website:http://www.stabilisationunit.gov.uk/

Here there has been no mention today of any additional UK military presence and several times the media have skirted round referring to those special "boots on the ground" today.

The only reference to "boots" has been the TNC's desire to have the Jordanians train the new army.
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Old 08-22-2011   #11
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Default That shows great sense...

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The only reference to "boots" has been the TNC's desire to have the Jordanians train the new army.
Far more than some enlightened and well educated if ignorant western government types seem to be showing. Glubb Pasha's spiritual descendants would be far more appropriate and beneficial than US over reactionary efforts...
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Old 08-22-2011   #12
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Default Libya News Roundup # 2

Libya News Roundup # 2

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Old 08-22-2011   #13
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Default Re the article marc cited...

Quote:
Democracy will bring freedom and economic opportunities, but also inflation and income inequality. Islamism will bring social justice and religious purity, but also social rigidity. A new autocracy will merely turn back the clock. For Libya, the problem is that democracy and oil do not mix well. Russia has shown that in oil economies, economic liberalization gives rise to the emergence of oligarchs resulting in a call for a strong regime. A Libyan democratic government will most probably be unable to combine freedom and social justice.
Interesting that democracy is equated here with economic liberalization, as if the two were synonymous. Interesting also that income inequality and the absence of "social justice" are seen as the principal problems facing a Libyan Democracy.

I suspect that the problems facing an attempt to develop democracy in Libya are likely to be far more severe and immediate than income equality and "social justice" (whatever we take that to mean). Possibly a bit of projection in the picture there.

The most immediate obstacle will be finding a way for government to function at all. Transitions from dictatorship - especially extended dictatorship - to democracy are extraordinarily difficult. Political parties often coalesce around tribal, sectarian, or personalistic lines, offering little real choice in policy or ideology. In many cases elections see positions contested by large numbers of candidates, leaving winners with questionable mandates and very limited popular support. Without clearly established rules and procedures gridlock often sets in, with most debates over the process, rather than the outcome. Popular frustration is often intense, as unrealistic expectations meet reality. At the same time, there are huge and critical decisions to be made: the structure of the oil industry, the extent of foreign involvement, justice vs reconciliation for members and supporters of the old regime, hundreds more.

The first problem will be simply putting a government together that is capable of making a decision, any decision. That's difficult enough.
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Old 08-23-2011   #14
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Six months later, I still contend there is not an ounce of real as opposed to presumed or wanna-be assumed US interest in Libya. If Europe has a problem there, then Europe should address it. None of our affair. Could be a US domestic politics and budget influencer, though. Surely those wouldn't be considerations...
Although, in fairness, it was Europe that did most of the lifting on this. By my count, the US conducted perhaps 30% of the sorties over Libya, and perhaps 20% of the combat sorties.

Certainly the rest of NATO couldn't have done it without US support. However, in some of the media commentary I've seen you would think this was a US operation with European (and Canadian support), not vice-versa.
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Old 08-23-2011   #15
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Default This Week at War: The Libya Model

This Week at War: The Libya Model

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Old 08-23-2011   #16
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Although, in fairness, it was Europe that did most of the lifting on this. By my count, the US conducted perhaps 30% of the sorties over Libya, and perhaps 20% of the combat sorties.
That's a good start. Perhaps for the next such effort, we can cut that small percentage of ours even more.
Quote:
Certainly the rest of NATO couldn't have done it without US support. However, in some of the media commentary I've seen you would think this was a US operation with European (and Canadian support), not vice-versa.
I think they could have done it with no US support, though it might've been a bit -- just a bit, seriously -- harder in spots.

Perhaps it's a perspective thing but I don't get that US centric sensing from things I read -- I only very rarely watch television -- and most of the visuals I've seen have been of other nations (Canada well represented...).

BTW, I meant the Euro-centric bit for any ground effort. Neither we nor Canada have much business being involved in that IMO. YMMV.
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Old 08-23-2011   #17
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Default Imagining Libya, a Decade from now

Hat tip to FP Blog for this commentary looking forward:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...m_now?page=0,0

The author is an optimist:
Quote:
My prediction is that Libya will be messy -- but closer to the democratic end of the spectrum than to the chaotic, autocratic, or partitioned outcomes.
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Old 08-23-2011   #18
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How much "Europe" can do militarily is a question of will / interest / necessity.

We COULD have invaded Libya with three million soldiers if we WANTED.

We COULD have created additional airfields on Sicily and Crete and massed more than a thousand combat aircraft there for operations over Libya if we WANTED.



The Libya drôle de intervention was really done with a very low amount of willpower/interest, with the small finger of the left hand.
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Old 08-23-2011   #19
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IMHO the construction of a "solid" libyan future will depend very much from western and arab approach to what we call "support".

For Europe it could be a very good test if we europeans are able to conceive a unitarian foreign policy. If Italy, France, GB, Germany will have their "man in Tripoli" (with his own gang of armed individuals, tribe etc...) the outcome is predictable: total caos.
Everyone who knows the Libyan character knows that everyone will scramble to find a way to gain some power (and money) in the business of restarting the country. Corruption will be rampant and now we have a bunch of weapons to add tothe normal burocratic means to manage a power base and gain some backshish.

When the NATO will exhaust his military role there will be no political steering with such a strong legitimacy. Then the EU should kick in but we sould find the Ashton ghost.... (Anyone where is she?)

Italy seems topoint to Jalloud, France to Jalil, maybe Great Britain is in touch with someone in Bengazi. If European politician doesn' understand that only a unified approach could achieve something the future will be bleak.

Italy has tried this strategy: it backfired at the first occasion because we could not offer any kind of political shield with this US administration.
France (if Sarkozy could be called France) seems to have a better understanding of this strange "Obama doctrine" but without Italy is very difficult to stabilize Libya. The same for GB.

Let's hope for a european awakening. It's the only real strategic way out.
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Old 08-24-2011   #20
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Default Libya: Ensuring a Smooth and Peaceful Transition into the Post-Qaddafi Era

ICG just issued a letter on post Qaddafi Libya. It resumes well most of the worries and challenges for future Libya:
Quote:
As Libyans prepare for the Qaddafi regime's imminent demise, the country faces a pivotal moment of historic proportions. Steps taken in the next few days and weeks will decisively shape the post-Qaddafi order. The new, still nascent, Libyan leadership, faces a dual, difficult legacy which it will need to overcome: four decades of an autocratic regime that failed to build genuine state institutions and six months of a civil war that, together with inevitable human and material losses, exposed old divisions and fissures while prompting new ones. The challenge for that leadership, as well as for international actors who enabled its drive into Tripoli, is threefold: to establish a broadly inclusive and representative transitional governing body; address immediate security risks; and find an appropriate balance between, on the one hand, the search for accountability and justice and, on the other, the imperative of avoiding arbitrary score-settling and revenge.
As rebel fighters stream into Tripoli, they will come upon the collapse of a quasi-state, the Jamahiriya, or so-called "state of the masses" - a somewhat jerry-built contraption created by Muammar Qaddafi that, however sincere it might have been at its revolutionary inception, became a vehicle to advance his personal and political ambitions. It is this twin challenge - replacing an autocratic regime and rebuilding a new state from the ground up - that will be so daunting for the new leadership.
Further complicating this task are the inevitable difficulties in establishing the national legitimacy of Libya's new leaders. The Transitional National Council (TNC), created in rebel-held Benghazi in March 2011, could stake a clear claim to representing Libyans in areas free of regime control, and it has done a remarkable job in constituting basic institutions to manage civic life in those areas and attract international support. Yet the TNC never could claim to represent all Libyans, even if it broadly reflected their aspirations, for the simple reason that most Libyans, especially in the capital Tripoli, were not in a position to freely voice their opinions or participate openly in the TNC, whose membership was therefore wei ghted, by default, toward those in liberated zones. The TNC will now have to reflect in its membership all of Libya in its full diversity, and merge its administrative operations with those of the remaining, functioning public sector institutions.
Six months of insurgency, while ultimately successful, created, laid bare or exacerbated divisions - both within the country at large, along regional, ethnic or tribal lines and within the rebel leadership, as evidenced in the 28 July assassination, apparently at rebel hands, of rebel commander Abdel Fattah Younes. A clash of competing legitimacies - between forces based in the east and those based in the west, those who fired the first shots, those who first entered Tripoli, those who remained in Libya throughout the Qaddafi era (and, in some cases, worked for the former regime) and those who return from the diaspora - is virtually inevitable. There will be, too, tensions between secular and Islamist forces. None of t his suggests that it will be impossible to create a unified government, or a single military force under civilian control, merely that much hard work will need to be done very quickly to reduce the real risk of the country slipping into chaos.
In this context, Libya's rulers will need to urgently turn their attention to the following areas:
Political legitimacy: Libya's new leaders, led by the TNC, should convene, at the earliest opportunity, an inaugural council meeting in Tripoli, inviting representatives from all parts of the country and all strands of society and the opposition - various rebel groups, as well as local underground resistance groups in Tripoli and elsewhere - to participate. Indeed, the TNC should strive to be fully inclusive, embracing qualified former-regime elements who were not direct perpetrators of human rights abuses, lest their exclusion create the conditions for a future insurgency of the kind that blighted post-2003 Iraq. The TNC should strive to be transparent in its actions and, along with local leaders and rebel groups, should c ommunicate its decisions clearly, explaining its motivation for each step in a situation where people can be expected to harbour an innate distrust of authority. Particularly important to Libyans is transparency in contracts and provision of services. The expanded council should continue to make clear it is a strictly provisional body charged with managing day-to-day affairs. Its focus should be on providing law and order and ensuring proper delivery and functioning of essential services until elections can be held.
Security, law and order: How the new leaders deal with law and order will be essential in determining popular perceptions of their qualifications to run the country in the interim period. In the critical first days, the erstwhile rebel groups should fill the security vacuum left by the surrender or disappearance of the former regime's security forces. They should stop distributing arms to the population and instead begin collecting and securing them. They should integrate whatever viable elements of the former regime's security forces can be retained into a new structure led by commanders appointed and supervised by the interim ruling council. The disparate, mostly community-based rebel movements and their various leaders= 0and commanders should take steps to protect and ensure the well-being of all Libyans, with special care for internally displaced people, Libyans and non-Libyans. Particular attention should be paid to protecting citizens of sub-Saharan nations who were swept up in the conflict, whether as hapless victims, paid mercenaries or misplaced migrants. There is also a risk that Libyans of Saharan or sub-Saharan African origin could be victimised by retributive or retaliatory actions. In this respect, every effort should be made to protect groups such as the Mashashia, the Twergha and other native Libyans from the country's centre and south.
Transitional justice and reconciliation: One of the most glaring omissions of Iraq's transition from tyranny was the new rulers' failure to establish a mechanism to hold to account those who committed major crimes, while allowing others to clear their record or obtain pardon on condition they provided full disclosure of their participation in the regime. Instead, de-Baathification became a political instrument of disenfranchisement and retribution. This explains Iraqis' enduring inability to reach a degree of closure about the past and accounts for the continuing impetus toward insurgency.
Libyans should not be led down this destructive track of politicised score-settling and witch-hunts. One of the interim ruling council's immediate tasks should be to urge fighters under its command and the population at large to foreswear any reprisal against former-regime elements, including members of the Qadhafi family, who should be treated in accordance with principles of international law. Those suspected of crimes should be detained and brought to justice before proper judicial institutions. The council also should establish a special commission, comprising independent Libyan figures of impeccable qualifications and reputation, charged with processing persons accused of crimes with a view to integrating most back into society while= 0handing the worst offenders, including Qadhafi's inner circle, over to the courts (and those indicted by the International Criminal Court to the ICC in The Hague).
All of these priorities - whether calling together a truly representative interim council; ensuring law and order along with efficient weapons collection; or putting in train transparent justice mechanisms - will require clear, consistent messaging on the part of the emerging leadership. In fluid situations such as prevail now in Libya, the risk of misinformation - and consequent panic - is acute. Emphasis must be placed, from the start, on effective communication. In this respect, initial statements emanating from the TNC leadership to the effect that all Libyans should show self-restraint, respect the rule of law, avoid street justice and accord due process to figures from the Qaddafi regime are to be welcomed - and put into effect.
Members of the international community should match their military campaign with a new and commensurate political, diplomatic and reconstruction/development-focused effort. In this context, the UN should be given a central role in the transition process. In providing assistance to Libya, however, international actors they should steer clear of any overbearing tendency to dictate terms for international aid, instead working jointly through the UN to deliver assistance requested by the interim ruling council and eventually its elected successors. In the short term, there is the risk of a humanitarian crisis, and - in addition to the lifting of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council -- significant international work should go into 20helping provide sustenance and shelter to those in need.
As the struggle to bring an end to the Qadhafi regime comes to a close, the effort to build a new Libya whose government is representative, which meets the basic aspirations of its people and avoids the settling of past scores begins. Amid today's understandable euphoria, the magnitude of tomorrow's challenge ought not be underestimated.
http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/public...ddafi-era.aspx
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