NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Why the US has no Libya Policy

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

With its government disintegrating and its economy beyond repair, Libya is at a crossroads. Ahead lies a slow, painful, collapse or a rapid, painful, collapse. Neither is particularly appealing. But the US has no Libya policy – either to try to help Libya find a third way or to prepare the homeland for the ramifications of a Libyan collapse.

This means two things. First, resolving the Libya crisis will largely be left to Libya itself (which appears to have neither the capacity nor the willingness to do this) and to Libya’s neighbors including the UAE, Egypt, and Algeria. Second, when the US does engage with Libya it will be spontaneous and off-the-cuff, disconnected from any strategic framework.

One of the reasons the US has no Libya policy is because the US currently has no foreign policy in general. A second reason is that President Donald Trump’s campaign spent so much time vilifying his opponent and tying her to the disaster that Libya has become that just the mention of Libya in the White House is toxic. Lastly, the Trump administration doesn’t have the people to craft a Libya policy.

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NARCO CLOSEHOLD is timely, actionable analysis derived from discreet sources. NARCO CLOSEHOLDs are crafted as events merit. They are available to NARCO's subscription and retainer clients and on a case-by-case basis.

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