Within the countries of the Arab Spring, the forces unleashed by the sudden opening of political spaces were largely inexperienced, remain fearful and intolerant of each other, and were easily manipulated in regional and global proxy conflicts.
The international community’s capacity for conflict management remains a potentially highly effective, albeit not flawless, instrument for managing a wide range of security challenges, which, however, will be applied, as it always has, selectively and in line with the national interests of the great powers.
Sustainable peace, democracy and prosperity depend crucially on choosing the right institutions, but these institutions cannot flourish unless there is security.
Resistance by the old regime collapsed relatively quickly on the road to, and in, Tripoli and the rebels clearly have the upper hand now and momentum is on their side, but there is a danger of setbacks.
The balance sheet of internationalised peace and state building is less than stellar, but it offers important lessons for the conflict in Libya.
One-hundred days on from the beginning of NATO’s “Operation Unified Protector”, the question remains whether an eventual solution to the on-going crisis in Libya will be worse than the problem it was meant to deal with.
Thus far, the enforcement of the no-fly zone has served its purpose and stopped Gaddafi’s forces from further advances. Perhaps it is time to scale back military talk and give diplomacy another chance, including by working closely with, rather than arming, the rebels.
Related NotesAs the crisis in Libya unfolds and as the US, France and the UK get potentially sucked ever deeper into yet another disastrous military intervention, policy debates and decisions appear to be driven primarily by humanitarian concern. Unsurprisingly,...