August 28, 2014

TSG IntelBrief: The Disintegration of Libya

• Opposing militias are battling for the control of Libya among the worst violence since the fall of the Qadhafi regime in 2011; a civil war which may continue for years has begun

• The Libyan government’s mistakes early during the transition process after the fall of Qadhafi included delegation of policing authority to newly formed militias whose members were bound by allegiance to clan, city, or region rather than the newly formed government

• The civil war is increasingly taking the form of casts of many ethnic and sectarian factions

• After the 2011 revolt, the economy went into a tailspin, but surged in 2012 as oil and natural gas exports and commensurate GDP growth resumed; but failed governance in late 2012 caused energy sector exports to plummet

• Since mid-2013, GDP declined by almost 10%, and the government’s current account is almost in negative territory, infrastructure investment has ground to a halt, and government payrolls are at risk

• Stabilization efforts will most likely be led by military forces from the nearby and broader region—Algeria, Egypt, and United Arab Emirates, with material assistance and logistical advice provided by NATO and the US

• The stabilization of Libya is critical, however, to regional states’ national interests as the conflict can easily spill into nearby Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Algeria, and Mali.