Joseph E. FALLON
Protests starting in Benghazi in the east soon spread across the country.4 But within a month, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces had defeated rebels in the west.5 By March 19, 2011, they were poised for military victory over rebels in the east.6 On that day, NATO, acting on UN Security Council resolutions, intervened on behalf of the retreating rebels. The demise of the Libyan state happened rapidly, thereafter.
The UN and NATO “won” the war, but “lost” the peace. NATO affected the overthrow of Muammar el-Qaddafi who had governed Libya, ruthlessly and eccentrically, for 40 years, killing him in the process. NATO officials proclaimed NATO’s Libyan intervention a complete success and a “model” for future interventions. This despite concerns NATO’s actions were possibly illegal under the UN Charter.
Ivo H. Daalder, US Permanent Representative to NATO, and James G. Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander of the US European Command, wrote in Foreign Affairs, March/April 2012, “NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention … NATO’s involvement in Libya demonstrated that the alliance remains an essential source of stability.”1
1 Ivo H. Daalder and James G. Stavridis, “NATO’s Victory in Libya: The Right Way to Run an Intervention”, Foreign Policy, March/April 2012, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/libya/2012-02-02/natos-victory-libya
1 “The Arab Spring: A Year Of Revolution”, National Public Radio, December 17, 2011, https://www.npr.org/ 2011/12/17/143897126/the-arab-spring-a-year-of-revolution
2 “Arab uprising: Country by country – Libya”, BBC News, December 16, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/ world-12482311
3 Max Fisher, “40 maps that explain the Middle East”, via Vox.com, May 5, 2014, https://indocropcircles.word press.com/live-observasi/maps-kumpulan-40-peta-timur-tengah/
4 “Libya protests spread and intensify”, Al Jazeera, February 21, 2011, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/ africa/2011/02/2011221133557377576.html
5 Mariam Karouny, “Gaddafi forces defeat rebels in western Libyan town”, Reuters, March 14, 2011, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-zuwarah/gaddafi-forces-defeat-rebels-in-western-libyan-town-idUSTRE72D73I20110314
6 “Libya: Gaddafi forces attacking rebel-held Benghazi”, BBC News, March 19, 2011, http://www.bbc.com/ news/world-africa-12793919