News / Africa

Analysts Assess Future US-Libya Ties

While fighting continues in Libya, the international community is already looking ahead to a post-Gadhafi era. For now, U.S. officials are providing few specifics about a future American role in what Washington hopes will emerge as a stable, democratic nation.


Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama hailed the expected end of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, but spoke in general terms about future U.S. engagement in the northern African nation. “The United States will be a friend and partner.  We will join with allies and partners to continue the work of safeguarding the people of Libya,” he said.

At the State Department, a wait-and-see approach prevails. “Let us start with what the Libyans themselves feel is necessary, what they can achieve with their own resources.  Let us wait and see what is on their wish list,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Nevertheless, U.S. officials acknowledge Libya’s Transitional National Council will need operating funds, especially given reduced oil output during the country’s civil war. “We want to start with getting the money that the TNC needs to maintain a strong and stable government, to provide for the humanitarian and security needs of its people.  Then we will go on from there,” Nuland said.

Except for the initial phase of an air campaign to protect the Libyan people and degrade pro-Gadhafi forces, the United States has played a supporting role in international efforts to shape Libya’s future.  A limited U.S. role is likely to continue, according to military analyst Richard Weitz of the Washington-based Hudson Institute during an interview with Alhurra TV.

“The U.S. is probably going to defer more to the other governments in the region, be they the Arab countries and the North African countries and the European countries.  They are much closer,” Weitz said.

Even before anti-Gadhafi fighters advanced into Tripoli, U.S. officials and lawmakers discussed an eventual unfreezing of tens of billions of dollars in foreign assets held by the Gadhafi regime.  According to Weitz, those assets, as well as any future U.S. aid, can help ensure that a post-Gadhafi Libya sticks to a democratic path.

“Give emergency assistance and aid now, but condition additional assistance on good behavior of the [new] regime,” Weitz said.

From the start of the rebellion, opponents of Moammar Gadhafi have reached out to the international community. “We hope that the world will understand us, deal with us, co-operate with us,” said Libyan opposition figure Mohamed Shebani.

With the United States already extricating itself from two other conflicts, in Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans show little appetite for increasing foreign expenditures in Libya or anywhere else.  But U.S. assistance need not be financially draining in an oil-rich nation like Libya, according to national security analyst Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution.

“I am hopeful that, in fact, we will be able to see some American help.  But let us also remember [that] Libya is rich.  Libya is a small population base with several tens of billions of dollars in foreign reserves.  So the issue here is less giving Libyans money,” O'Hanlon said.

O’Hanlon and other analysts say the coming months will be crucial for Libya’s future, and U.S. engagement will be an important ingredient in shaping that future.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid