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Libya Situation

  • Date Submitted: 05/08/2011 11:23 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.3 
  • Words: 1141
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Policy Recommendation:   To achieve stability and a timely resolution, Western powers should negotiate a deal with Ghadaffi for his son Saif al-Islam to take over the country.   In return, Ghadaffi would not be prosecuted for alleged war crimes.   The alternative seems to be a prolonged military campaign resulting in more death and more instability for years to come, and would likely increase the activity of Islamist militant groups.  
National Overview:   Libya has a dominant position in the central Mediterranean and also has a larger oil reserve than any state in Europe or Africa.   Colonel Muammar Ghadaffi seized power in a coup in 1969.   Ghadaffi has been an erratic leader in his relationships with both Western powers and Arab states. After sanctions from the 1980s depleted his military power, Libya found itself back in good standing with Western Powers in 2003 but in disfavor with the Arab world.   Now he is out of favor with both.  
The February 17th Revolution:   Inspired by the recent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, Libyan protestors rose up against Ghadaffi in the east to demand political, social, and economic reforms.   However, rebellion from this region has frequently occurred since Ghadaffi came to power.  
Domestic Issues:   The buildup of unrest is due to ongoing socio-economic pressures.   Libya has an unemployment rate of 30 percent and the government itself only employs about 13 percent of the population, despite promises to increase state sector employment.   This is significant because of the country’s enormous oil revenues, yet the public sees very little of these profits.   Ghadaffi has relied mostly upon security measures to keep the population in line.   He has also built up a highly developed system of patronage over the years where corruption and nepotism are rampant.  
Foreign Policy Issues:   Many Arab states and populations viewed Ghadaffi’s abandoning of non-conventional weapons as a weak concession to the West, and Libya received much...

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