A Libya Stalemate

110965682

Zack Hosford and Andrew Exum fear one:

The most dangerous outcome for the United States is also the most likely, which is a stalemate that prolongs U.S. and allied military intervention in Libya. The relative lack of sophistication and organization among rebel fighting forces means they may be unable to regain the momentum in Libya and defeat Gadhafi’s forces in open combat absent significant direct and indirect support from U.S. and allied militaries – which is not explicitly authorized by UNSCR 1973 and might not be supported by the U.S. Congress.

A stalemate in Libya would effectively result in a de facto partition of the country with a severely under-governed and disorganized safe haven in eastern Libya for the rebels that could provide refuge for various militant and criminal groups capable of exporting violence and instability to other countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Such a scenario would prolong U.S. and allied military intervention as only a major Western investment in developing the independent governance, economic and security force capacity of eastern Libya would be likely to forestall this outcome. However, such an investment is highly unlikely due to the overarching fiscal constraints facing the United States and NATO countries and competing priorities.

(Photo: A Libyan man stands on the bombed fishing harbor of Sirte on March 28, 2011 a day after a coalition air strike, as rebels were stopped in their tracks by forces loyal to Moamer Kadahfi who launched a fierce attack on their convoy, halting their push forward to Sirte for a second time in the day. By Imed Lamloum/AFP/Getty Images)

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Just In