With the US moving military resources to the Asia-Pacific region, what organization will maintain the stability and security in North and North Central Africa? The US has been downgrading its participation in African affairs for some time now; one may refer to the events in Libya and the ongoing situation in Mali. Europe faces many modern threats, and it may very well have to pull itself together to properly address the challenges to its security originating from across the Mediterranean Sea as the US focuses on more of its own problems.
Posts Tagged ‘ Libya ’
Why is it so hard for the EU to intervene in Syria despite its success in Libya? (Part 1/2: The case of Libya)Feb 5th, 2013 | By Aleksander Thomas
Read the second part (about Syria) here. Before examining on an individual level the Libyan and Syrian conflicts, the European Union’s ‘mission’ should be taken into account when discussing matters of conflict as well as their aim of promoting democracy. The EU’s “mission” is to externalize the success of European integration in creating peace and [...]
From Concussions to Chronic Headaches: What an Islamist-controlled North Africa means for the United States and the WestFeb 2nd, 2013 | By The Political Bouillon
As outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the 23rd of January, the country is reminded of a sobering truth: the chaos in North Africa spells bad fortunes for the United States. Four months have passed since American ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed in a jihadist attack in Libya. Just as Clinton gives a testimony taking responsibility for the security failures in Benghazi, France continues to be engaged in a ground conflict by the side of the Malian government. Regional turbulence threatens to expand northwards as the aftermath from the Algerian hostage crisis unfolds. With the US renewing its vows to find those responsible for the Libya attacks, and French military engagements deepening in Mali, these crises show no signs of letting up.
Protesters and freedom fighters in the Arab world can count on the sympathy, and sometimes the support of Western democratic nations. But this sympathy clouds our judgement, because we automatically conceive the rioters as heroes. The villains are those resisting change, sometimes willing to give their lives for the dictators. Yet, we hardly understand why. The democratic principals that we hold dear and that we wish new regimes will adopt should make us want to know the whole story.
The victory of the rebel forces in Libya is often conceived as not only their victory, but as a victory of European diplomacy as well. Though this might be true for the relations between Europe and the United States, it is doubtful whether it is the case for the relations with the Arab world as well. The economic and political reality must lead to the conclusion that the effects might not be as lasting as one would hope.
France’s bombs on Gbagbo and Italy’s bombs on Khadafi show that Europe’s countries dare to act in their former colonies. Accusations of neocolonialism by evildoers should be accepted as compliments, as it means standing up for human rights, even in countries where acting militarily is sensitive.
The western world has begun its third military intervention in a Muslim country since the attacks on September 11th. After previous conflicts, what lessons have been learned? What is the most desirable outcome in the Libyan conflict? And what can be said about the role of the international coalition?
European leaders frame the current situation in Libya in a certain way by referring to past conflicts and subsequent (non-) intervention. Consequently, they divert the discussion on intervention in Libya away from the situation on the ground.
With Khadafi’s would-be massacre looming in Benghazi, Europe has proven that it is still willing to take on a messianic role to fight for freedom. The enthusiasm that David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy have shown to protect human life with all means necessary deserves the deepest respect and stands in stark contrast to Germany’s inexcusable cowardice. Libya deserves European military support in escaping from the yoke of a madman that has oppressed its people for generations.
The revolutions in North Africa have triggered worries in many European capitals about huge immigrant flows. So far the EU has however supported the democratic movements but the Libyan revolution might have exposed once again the need for a comprehensive European energy market to balance energy supply disruptions caused by civil unrest. The Libyan revolution has caused minor energy shocks in the EU, a civil uprising in Algeria might have more severe consequences.