camillegrand1More than three months after the beginning of the military campaign in Libya, the outcome remains unpredictable, at least in its final shape and its aftermath. Already, however, the transatlantic partners are starting to draw some first lessons from the intervention.

Read More

“Bad cases make bad law.” This axiom of jurisprudence can as easily apply to the use of force. What is happening in Libya at the moment is a “bad case” in three ways: military intervention in its civil war does not derive from well-established precedent, does not draw on unambiguous principle, and may not set a course or parameters for future conduct of various nations and institutions in similar – or roughly similar – cases. This conclusion will be tested the next time the U.S., its European and Canadian allies, and others are faced with a situation that seems to cry for outside intervention.

Read More

As a U.S. Senator put it about the U.S. approach to Libya: “One test in foreign policy: at least be as bold as the French; unfortunately, we’re failing that test.” Part of a small Washington cohort of critics crying outrage about U.S. inaction, that jibe from Senator Lindsay Graham, a Republican on the Armed Services Committee, came on Wednesday. By the next day, the Obama administration had joined  France, Britain and some other EU countries,  together with the Arab League and the Organization of African Unity, in pushing for a no-fly zone. The potential resolution, when it finally materialized, included even more aggressive military measures against the Libyan regime, possibly including covert help to Libyan rebels on the ground. That emerging diplomatic front succeeded in obtaining approval from the UN Security Council, of a much stronger resolution on Libya than most diplomats even a few hours earlier believed possible.

Read More

As Moammar Gaddafi threatened fierce retribution against rebels in Benghazi, the Obama administration executed a dramatic policy shift toward the Libya, swinging behind a European-led push for a Security Council resolution authorizing international action to protect Libyans against Gaddafi loyalists.

Read More

A flurry of calls for a “no fly zone” in Libya is premature.  The idea, however appealing as a measure to deprive the Libyan leader of airpower against civilian rebels, immediately encountered objections from Western military commanders, starting with those in the U.S.

Read More

Get updates from EI@UMD