• Analysis // Mar 26, 2014
    David Mack
    Libyan popular and political support for engaging the international community offers the United States and Western partners an opportunity to help stabilize a North African energy producer and encourage orderly political change. Conversely, a failure to act could have costly, long-term regional and international security consequences. Domestic political limitations to direct U.S. government engagement, along with other issues that compete for attention and resources, are constraints on a more active policy. Moreover, Libyans themselves would not tolerate a dominating U.S. role. There is room, however, for the United States to expand a modest official presence and nurture extensive private sector assistance to Libya. Visa issuance, trade promotion, educational exchange, and cautious use of military training and equipment are promising tools. Politically, U.S. officials can best promote U.S. interests and build Libya’s capacity for stable self-rule by working behind the scenes and with the United Nations, NATO, the EU, and the Friends of Libya.