This report by Libya specialist Alison Pargeter elicits Libyan views on international operations in Libya and analyses the possible effects of such operations on Libya’s longer-term stability. Through interviews with a diverse section of Libyan society, the research paints a detailed picture of how international intervention, both covert and overt, is perceived by Libyans.
Foreign intervention has generally elicited a negative response in Libya. However, given the extent of the chaos and fragmentation that has gripped the country, the various camps have been willing to accept intervention providing it supports their own interests or objectives. By the same token, when intervention has not suited their objectives, these camps have also used it as a stick to beat their opponents with.
The covert nature of Britain’s intervention has fuelled existing suspicions about ulterior motives in a climate already characterised by rumour and conspiracy. Libyans in general are deeply uneasy about the idea of foreign intervention, but also feel abandoned in the wake of the 2011 events. Some also feel angry that this abandonment left the country prey to interventions by regional powers.
Image credit: Bani Wild/Wikimedia Commons.
About the author:
Alison Pargeter is a North Africa and Middle East expert with a particular focus on Libya, Tunisia and Iraq, as well as on political Islamist movements. She is a senior research associate at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a senior associate at global consultancy firm, Menas Associates, and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies at Kings College London.