Libya and the World after Gadhafi: Preliminary Thoughts

It is perhaps premature to propose potential conclusions and lessons learned in the immediate wake of the rebel victory over the Gadhafi regime. On the surface, it appears that NATO support for the rebellion assisted materially in achieving the objective of ridding Libya of a widely detested dictator.

In terms of success, this would seem to represent more than can be said for Western efforts in backing one side in the Afghan civil war, or intervening under manifestly false pretences in Iraq. Both of those episodes have proven extremely costly. Still, before breaking out any more champagne, there are several issues regarding the Libyan affair which require more sober and sustained reflection than they seem to have received at the international meeting on Libya’s future held September 1st in Paris.

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Osama and Obama: Turning the Page?

The reported killing earlier today of Osama Bin Laden by US special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, is unlikely to prove a game changer for American foreign policy. Secretary Clinton has already suggested as much – the war on terror will continue unabated. Careers, promotions, budgets and bonuses depend on it.

I believe such a commitment to be both hasty and unfortunate, especially given the unmitigated disaster which the current course has visited upon the USA and the world since 9/11. That said, the death of “The Sheik”, the spiritual head of a loose federation of jihadi extremist groups affiliated worldwide under the ideological banner of the Al Qaeda franchise, does raise a series of other critical questions and issues.

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