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ISSN 2294-1274

ATLANTIC TREATY ASSOCIATION

Volume 2 - Issue 7, July 2012

LIBYA, THE DAY AFTER Future political and security developments and Euro-Atlantic security July 7th 2012 marks an important date for the people of Libya. They were called to elect their General National Council (GNC). The GNC will now appoint a Prime Minister and cabinet for the country. This means that the country has started its long and winding transition path towards democracy. The post-Qaddafi transition must ensure an effective rule of law which translates, among others, into democratic security governance. For this difficult undertaking, however, Libya will need help from the outside in order to cover the full picture of security challenges when building up security authorities. How can Western institutions, above all NATO, EU and OSCE, provide appropriate support?

What future for the Libyan security sector after the end of the Qaddafi regime?

C

ivil wars usually create a profound schism among populations. In the case of the Libyan civil war, the upshot of the conflict goes beyond the provincial and tribal divisions since the influx of conventional weapons sparked a

Following the political events in Libya and in

new security concern: weapons trafficking. The extent of post-conflict efforts to be made

the framework of its Mediterranean Program, the

could be surely compared to the Afghanistan case given that the challenges ahead for the

Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) dedicates the

transitional authorities are substantial. The non-Arab countries, whose help was welcomed

entire July issue of its monthly publication Atlantic

by the Qaddafi opposition, should act very carefully in the aftermath in order not to repeat

Voices to the future of Libya from a security angle.

mistakes made in the past. Certainly, they possess many national and institutional tools

The article by Samir Battiss examines the current

which could end up being useful. Likewise, Arab countries could also play a significant role

political, economic and security situation in Libya

in re-building the country. However, it is up to the current and future Libyan representa-

and draws several scenarios for future security

tives to ask for help should they need it.

governance. He thereby especially looks at the role NATO and EU could play. Florian Bauernfeind Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

The development of the relationship between the West and the southern part of the Mediterranean area has never really given satisfaction to any of the protagonists, though this was punctuated by positive outcomes over an extended period. Several reminiscent issues 1


sustain. From the perspective of the south rim, the interference

ment fails to give the Libyans their lost dignity. It certainly took

of western countries and to some extent the attitude of superior-

several decades for the previously named political parties to take

ity often displayed by some can rather be perceived as paternalis-

office in their related country because they first had to protect

tic. Consequences of such behavior often undermine cooperation

themselves from autocratic regimes or to be strictly screened.

in many areas including democratization, liberalization of the

But politics in old as in new democracies is based on the relation-

economy, and effective protection of human rights. A truth to be

ship between the leaders and the people yet the basic democra-

told, the western countries have lost their dominant influence in

cies imply coalitions, disagreement among political allies, and

international affairs, especially over the last two decades, by

sooner or later the possibility to opt for a change in power. The

being constantly challenged by other actors. Yet it would be

Muslim nationalists are also influential. The Salaafists remain a

presumptuous to categorize the challengers as a homogenous

minority and should not be compared to the “Al Qaeda in Islamic

group of countries or a whole. Besides, it would be premature to

Maghreb” (AQIM). The influence of Abdelhakim Belhadj, ini-

consider the “emerged powers” as able or as prone to fill in the

tially supported by Qatar, and commanding about 300 men

vacuum caused by the progressive withdrawal or inability of the

(“defenders of the faith”) has been greatly overestimated by Al-

western countries when coping with crises.

Jazeera as well as in the western media because he met Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The perception of Libya’s security challenges

In addition to the religions and tribal factors, it should be

Political and economic developments

remembered that the cities historically played a role in political

The future political system of Libya remains uncertain because of

life in Libya by contributing to the self-identification of the peo-

diverging views on several aspects. However, the different Lib-

ple. According to Libya experts this factor is decisive and will

yan groups unanimously recognize that political reforms must

have the strongest influence on the future of the country. The

not be “remote-controlled” from outside. Secondly, the future

western analysts often seek a transferable “model” but Libya is

political system will enshrine the tenants of a traditionalist, fun-

neither Iraq, nor Afghanistan, nor Somalia even if we can find

damentally Muslim country, where “lay extremists” (lay progres-

some similarities. Unlike the previous examples, the country has

sives) have no real power

no problem of religious

even if they are motivated

sectarianism. The role of

and strive to be present on

the cities could be more

the

media

influential than the com-

stage. The Islamist move-

monly shared perception

ment is today dominated

by western media accord-

by the Libyan equivalent of

ing to which the Libyan

the Muslim Brotherhood.

political life is only domi-

The victory of the Muslim

nated by the tribes. Geo-

Brotherhood in Egypt, the

graphical data will play a

international

Ennahda party in Tunisia

Libyans celebrating the end of the Qaddafi regime at Martyrs Square in Tripoli

and the PJD in Morocco

major for the next stage of evolution of Libya. As the

could have represented a trend for what could happen in the

recent political declarations show, the division between Tripoli-

elections in July 2012 initially aiming at setting up a body to

tania and Cyrenaica is still very clear and transcends the tribal

draft a constitution and oversee a referendum on the draft. But

sphere of influence.

pre-election tensions led the National Transitional Council

Political developments are tightly linked to the following

(NTC) to rule that the constitutional panel would be elected by

issue: Which groups will control the economic leverage, i.e. oil

late spring 2013 (election of a Prime Minister and appointment

and natural resources’ revenues and financial assets abroad?

of a legitimately elected representative government). In the long

Libya’s average oil estimates are about twenty years of oil re-

run, the traditionalists could feel themselves strengthened and

serves (43 billion barrels) and foreign banks hold around $150 bn

more influential than local politicians if the legitimate govern-

of Libyan assets. To date, the NTC has recovered $21 bn from

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

2


As far as the political system is concerned, the confederalist constitutional

model

(Canadian

or

Swiss), often discussed within academia, could provide a starting point but could not be an end per se. No western model could ever entirely catch the local characteristics and balance of powers. But western models could provide a basic framework for equal entitlement to revenues from natural wealth among different

Rocket-propelled grenade heads held at National Transitional Council HQ in Abu Sleen

the council's sanctions committee, and the UN Security Council

areas. Meanwhile, they enable the country to embrace the reality

lifted sanctions on Libya's central bank and its offshore subsidiary

on the ground. At the end, only the Libyans can choose the path

bank. Later, the US Treasury Department said it had unblocked

they want to follow. But without a proactive policy approach of

more than $30 bn in Libyan government assets. This was to face

this kind among the allies, rivalry to control oil revenues and

growing demands for wages, medication and reconstruction as

assets will inevitably lead to renewed violence and to the estab-

well as inflation. Despite the current difficulties, this country

lishment of a political system different from the one initially

will remain a robust rentier state in the foreseeable future. Ac-

“promised” by the NTC1.

cording to the expectations of the NATO/European allies of a democratic regime (regime change was the final end state), the

Security developments

questions remain whether the revenue will be fairly redistributed

The border question

among the population and if some mechanisms will ensure an

Today, the transitional Libyan central authorities have the sup-

appropriate use.

port of the neighboring countries in democracy development.

Economically, Libya will face several challenges to overcome

Foreign troops also take part in this challenge, not directly but

the problems well known by rentier states, namely economic

through the training of forces. Well before Operation Unified

diversification. As far as the financial assets held by foreign banks

Protector, the border between Tripolitania and Tunisia has been

are concerned, there are some risks of political confrontations/

subject to countless crossings by legal and illegal migrants. No

competition within the country – between those who will claim

real natural frontier has marked the border, and the ethnic com-

to be its representatives, and between the financial industries and

position, language, value systems, and traditions of the two peo-

the allies. The second spectrum of challenges could be more

ples are close. It should be noted that the political relations with

difficult for the allies. In accordance with the values they militar-

Tunisia remain excellent. It is the only country that Libya has no

ily defended, western allies will push for starting a “democratic” political reform and for signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. On the other hand,

visa requirements with. The Cyrenaica

Political relations with Egypt have always been complex but important and “manageable”.

region is contiguous with Egypt, and here, too, the border is not naturally defined. Illegal as well as legal crossings

Libya could be a very profitable market

are frequent. Political relations with

for their security/military industries.

Egypt have always been complex but

Too aggressive an attitude could push the Libyan leaders to seek

important and “manageable”. As the Muslim Brotherhood came

new providers of modern technologies (nuclear power stations,

to power in Egypt, relations with Libya could become easier

sophisticated weapons); a more “understanding” behavior which

than expected. By contrast, Fezzan's borders with Algeria, Ni-

would take local characteristics into consideration might allow

ger, and Chad are rarely crossed because of the almost total

them to compete for major contracts (oil, arms, civilian tech-

emptiness of the desert countryside. The control of the border

nologies).

was de facto delegated to the Tuareg in the southwest and the

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

3


Tubu in the southeast. Border control and keeping the traditional

inhabitants. As far as the Libyan situation is concerned, there are

forms of land tenure were part of the deal with the previous

two opposing views whose posture depends on the nature of the

regime in the 1980s to achieve a fully unified Libya. After the

threat. On the one hand, to physically monitor the country’s

military operation and the collapse of Col. Qaddafi’s regime, the

borders as a whole in order to counter threats from outside, an

control over the borders is more important because of the com-

oversized army is required. First estimates would lead to the

bination of several factors. First, the disappearance of thousands

recruitment and training of 100,000 military personnel. First of

of small arms and light weapons – caches in the south were dis-

all, this would mean absorbing as many fighters as possible from

covered by the transitional authorities. Moreover, there is the

the militia forces, at the risk of creating an ineffective military

political-diplomatic aspect, mainly regarding the attitude of Al-

and endangering the stability of the government authorities. The

geria during the operation and its reluctance to recognize the

second scenario takes into consideration an environment where

NTC as representative of the Libyan people. The Algerian au-

Libya is not facing any outside danger and is unable to keep effec-

thorities were opposed to the intervention close to their terri-

tive control over its around 4,500 km land borders and the

tory and are suspected to still host Qaddafi’s family members. In

1,770 km coastline. In this context, some would argue in favor

the south, Mali and Niger periodically face Tuareg rebellions.

of maintaining small but well trained armed forces (25,000 to

The question of border control is, however, directly linked

50,000 men). Moreover, close cooperation with local internal

to the state of the security sector in the aftermath of the civil

security forces would also allow to fulfill the law and order mis-

war.

sions and to protect the oil fields and the strategic facilities and infrastructures.

The (re)-construction of the security sector

But the Libyan army of tomorrow is far from being created

Since the army no longer exists, there is a risk that the new Lib-

in the current élite offices in Tripoli and in western capitals. The

yan authorities will limit their security activities to law and or-

new elected government of the post-Qaddafi Libya will have no

der, the control of the coastal area, the cities and the oil fields.

choice but to build an entirely new military force. Rather than

Even if the transitional leaders seem determined to fight AQIM

simply merging rebel and regime forces, a third way should be

and the “foreign” incursions, the lack of security instruments

explored. A Demobilization-Disarmament-Reintegration (DDR)

would in practice mean abandoning a part of the deep South to

program takes several months or years to be negotiated and to be

the Tuareg and AQIM.

implemented, and decades to achieve its

The former Libyan rebels – lately renamed the ‘National Liberation Army’ by the NTC (May 2011) – consisted of roughly 17,000 troops. They used to

goal. Demobilization alone without assis-

Post-conflict security is invariably a much more complex undertaking than security reform in relative peace.

consist of two groups: defectors from the

tance in financial or educational terms and without the creation of alternatives on the labor market has proven to be a recipe for disaster.

Libyan armed forces and volunteers with no military experience. It is hard to know exactly how many of these groups have spontaneously disbanded after the conflict and returned home.

NATO and European nations as “hammer” to fix the security “nail”?

Islamist fighters, while present to a very small extent (and

Threats and risks are commonly perceived according to a na-

needed for their military skills), did not play a significant role.

tion’s background. As Abraham Maslow stated: “If you only have

Current transitional authorities face substantial challenges in

a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” For multilat-

trying to provide a secured environment necessary for recon-

eral institutions such as NATO, combating global security

struction and political reform. A quick look at the previous cases

threats will continue to be the rationale behind their actions. The

in Africa or elsewhere teaches us that post-conflict security is

lessons learned from previous interventions have suggested that

invariably a much more complex undertaking than security re-

building a comprehensive security system is vital. NATO’s assis-

form in relative peace. It depends on many factors like the to-

tance in creating sound armed forces seems to be appropriate

pography, geography and the size of the population. The agreed

given the organization purpose and the onward challenges. Nev-

upon ration for security provisions is around 13 troops per 1,000

ertheless, a positive outcome will depend on close cooperation

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

4


with the next legitimate Libyan representatives.

tent, with partners in Africa in general. European countries could also mobilize two additional secu-

Short term objective: Set up new Libyan security forces

rity tools: the Civilian Response Team (CRT) and the European

The newly elected representatives should initially be the sole

Gendarmerie Force (EGF). The CRT concept has been devel-

decision-makers for setting up security forces. This implies to

oped under the Civilian Headline Goal 2008 in order to enhance

disbanding militias and an effective DDR process. The recruit-

the EU’s rapidly deployable capability for civilian crisis manage-

ment should in-

ment.2 The idea of

clude all factions

a CRT refers to

including the for-

the readiness for

mer

Qaddafi-

deployment

supporters as part

within five days

of the reconcilia-

on request of the

tion process. As a

Secretary

series of gradual

eral/High Repre-

changes, the mili-

sentative,

tary

se r v i ce s

Political and Secu-

should be the first

rity Committee or

to go through this

the Council and to

process ultimately

the

a stay in the field

which could

Gen-

Revolutionary soldiers

for up to three

be a stepping stone in achieving peace among civilians later on.

months. Acting as a bridging mechanism in the first phase of a

Efforts may be reinforced through the assistance of NATO mem-

mission, its objectives include: assessment and fact-finding mis-

ber states which could provide technical services. NATO mem-

sions; the rapid establishment of an initial presence in the field

bers have gained experience in military training drawn from the

after a Joint Action and support of the deployment of a civilian

missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result, the prospective

crisis management operation; reinforcement of existing EU

Operational Mentor and Liaison Team-Libya, a NATO initiative,

mechanisms for crisis management, notably in assistance of an

could respond timely to the local needs after careful appreciation

EU Special Representative; and finally, logistical support. Fol-

of Libya’s own set of security issues and cultural differences.

lowing the approval of the CRT concept document by the Coun-

Such a group of instructors could consist of experienced person-

cil on 18 July 2005, further work was undertaken in order for

nel, not only from NATO Allies but also from the partner coun-

the recommendations to materialize. Such a civilian crisis man-

tries which could be selected on cultural and reputation basis. In

agement rapid reaction capability consists of troops flexible in

reference to Libyan needs and aspirations, some Arab nations

terms of both size and structure, made-up of national experts pre

participating in the Mediterranean Dialogue (Algeria, Egypt,

-selected through national timetables in accordance with agreed criteria and procedures. Completed by

Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) and in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates) could join the multinational effort by providing instruc-

NATO members have gained experience in military training drawn from the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

tors. The newly trained armed forces

2007, the pool of 100 European experts brings an added value through the CRTs’ potential to offer reliable, trained expertise that can be mobilized at very short notice. Although such a new tool should

would be responsible not only for the protection of Libya from

not be seen as an end or ‘definitive solution’ to the EU’s capaci-

internal and external threats but also of its people. From a re-

ties gap in civilian crisis management, civilian response teams

gional point of view, the allies’ participation could be directed

aim to increase the rapid reaction capacity, and they also contrib-

toward reaching a consensus on a more global strategy with re-

ute to the adequacy and effectiveness of the EU’s crisis response,

gard to relations with neighboring countries, and, to some ex-

as well as to its coherence with other actors. The objectives of

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

5


the CRT capacity include a wide range of missions. They should

some specific and local characteristics. Defined as a “force organ-

allow the EU to perform assessment and fact-finding missions in

ized along military lines, providing basic law enforcement and

a crisis or impending crisis situation and, when appropriate,

safety in a not yet fully stabilized environment”, the American concept of “constabulary forces” would be

provide input for the development of a crisis management concept before the adoption of an EU Council Joint Action and facilitate action in the framework of

Protecting the energy-related facilities appears to be crucial for success in the reconstruction of the country.

what comes close to the concept. From a European perspective, such forces are seen as “militarized police forces”. In-

EU Commission instruments. The CRT

deed,

besides

the

basic

training

concept document also seeks the setting-

(involving law enforcement and investi-

up of an early operational presence on the ground to support EU

gation techniques), they also receive military training with a

political structures in defining a concrete process in order to

focus on non-lethal use of force to enable them to respond to

turn a fuzzy political concept into a measurable and tangible

potential violence through negotiations and conflict manage-

mission. At this stage, CRTs play a key role not only in the op-

ment. On the request of Libyan leaders, the EGF co-operation

erationalization of civilian crisis management in the planning

programs could provide an appropriate training in international

phase, but also in providing timely reinforcement of existing EU

rule of law to forces to promote better governance. The local

mechanisms in charge of conflict prevention, mediation, stabili-

forces’ mandate could include conducting criminal investigation

zation and confidence-building measures including monitoring,

tasks, performing security and public order missions, conducting

and early identification of needs on the ground. In this way, a

public surveillance, traffic regulations, border policing and

timely deployment of crisis response tools can directly affect

criminal intelligence, covering detection of offences, tracing of

trust and confidence among stakeholders inside the country and

offenders, and their transfer to the appropriate judicial authori-

thus facilitate the imple-

ties. Some of the identi-

mentation

fied internal threats in

of

civilian in

Libya entail attacks on

cooperation with other

the infrastructure used

actors, both local and

for the exploitation of its

multinational, both mili-

crude oil to undermine

tary and civilian.

its economy. Protecting

crisis

management

The EGF initiative

the energy-related facili-

gathers five full members

ties appears to be crucial

(France, Italy, The Neth-

for success in the recon-

erlands, Portugal, and

struction of the country.

Spain), two partner states

The lessons learned from

(Poland, Lithuania) and

the NATO Training Mis-

one observer (Turkey).

sion-Iraq (NTM-I) could

These nations aim to put

lead the Libyan authori-

at the disposal a convincing and operational in-

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton visiting Benghazi in 2011 (Photo: European Commission)

ties to be interested in the

specific

program

strument for crisis management, first and foremost under EU

dedicated to train oil police forces. Indeed, among the various

command, but also other security organizations, such as NATO,

offers of police training, NATO or EU using the EGF assets

UN, OSCE, or ad hoc coalitions. Their “gendarmerie” assets

could instruct local forces in oil-policing which consists in pre-

seek to contribute to the crisis management capability in sensi-

venting attacks from land and sea terrorists and smugglers on the

3

tive post-conflict areas. This concept is globally known under its

main critical refineries and the coverage of some 21,000 km of

French version as “gendarmerie” but it has been nationally

oil and gas pipelines.4

adapted in several European states taking into consideration Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

From a technical aspect, NATO or EU members should 6


continue to supply Libyan authorities with ground surveillance

possible to achieve this goal in an acceptable atmosphere.

intelligence while aiming to have the national coastguards and the border police forces fully operational in the interim. On the

In the long term: reintegrate Libya into the regional politi-

other hand, the OSCE and the EU could provide civilian person-

cal landscape

nel for technical assistance in the development and implementa-

Geographically, Libya is located at the crossroads between the

tion of national strategies and action plans, based on the vision of

Maghreb and the Mashrek regions and is considered, together

the Libyan authorities and their commitments. Such assistance

with Morocco and Egypt, as a strategic location. In the long run,

could be composed of inter alia: training plans and programs

and if the Libyan authorities wish so, the participation in regional

through the sharing of good practices including new technologies

political forums could improve its security situation. Certainly,

and national know-how, confidence-building by promoting and

the security issues and their implications are different for each

facilitating interagency, bilateral and multilateral cooperation in

country. In parallel to the basic post-conflict efforts, newly

the Mediterranean neighborhood in the field of border security

elected Libyan leaders should anticipate the re-appearance of the

and management, drafting of national border strategies, specific

country in several Euro-Mediterranean arenas. These could help

theoretical and practical training of border personnel (including

or accelerate the improvement of its security. In several cases

border guards and customs), or on the spot monitoring, patrol-

Libyan leaders would only have to renew the previously negoti-

ling and mentoring exercises. Moreover, the OSCE and the UN,

ated commitments. In others, they would have to formally apply

thanks to their long-standing and concrete experience, could

for membership of targeted programs because these could meet

cooperate to make some assets available for a DDR process. DDR programs should be demand-driven, and the national authorities should demonstrate leadership and commitment to the proc-

their expectations.

In the long run, Libya’s participation in regional political forums could improve its security situation.

ess. The more precise and concrete the

Since the beginning of the Helsinki process and the conclusion of the Final Act in 1975, the security in the Mediterranean area has been considered directly connected to the security of the

programs are, the clearer the measures to be taken will be. Con-

European continent and vice versa. Libya as well as Lebanon and

sequently, it would be easier to implement them. The frame-

Syria have taken part in the OSCE meetings. However, they

work offered by both the UN and the OSCE has already demon-

never took a step further, beyond the informal discussions,

strated that dialogue and inclusiveness are crucial to building

unlike countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco

capacity of local and national institutions. The OSCE Office for

or Tunisia. In addition, Libya has been excluded from this proc-

Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), upon

ess or had excluded itself from such discussions for most of the

request of the Libyan transitional leadership, could provide ex-

time due to Muammar Qaddafi’s support for international crimi-

pertise and advice on drafting an electoral code thus ensuring

nal groups. A bilateral agreement could be signed with the

that the elections process complies with international standards.

OSCE which would provide a wide spectrum of political and

The first step would consist of a meeting between a team of in-

security tools to its partner as mentioned in the decision 571

ternational and local experts, representatives of the informal

adopted by the Permanent Council. The issues discussed are

groups as well as representatives of all official political parties.

mainly related to human security, e.g. tolerance and nondis-

The coordination of actions and trust not only among na-

crimination, migration and migrants’ human rights, including in

tional actors but also between national and international/

countries of destination, water management, desertification, and

regional partners is critical for success. According to western

anti-terrorism measures. The long-term and comprehensive

standards, the result of a DDR process should give priority to

approach adopted by the OSCE implies that the discussions and

demilitarizing above all the mindsets which dominate the Libyan

the activities in these areas aim to instill into the partner states a

population since a large number of small arms-light weapons

more democratic vision of their political development. How-

have overflowed the country during the previous months of con-

ever, the implementation of the moral commitments is on a

flict. But the traditional and strongly family-based structures,

voluntary basis; therefore, the OSCE should review its modus

together with an ancestral culture of negotiation, should make it

operandi and first ask the newly elected government how the

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

7


Civil Defense agency thanks to a close cooperation with the Euro

organization could provide support. This is all the more the case as this organization has largely

-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center (EADRCC)

lost its relevance since the EU and NATO developed their own

and the International Civil Defense Organization; confidence-

approaches to this critical region. Indeed, in 1994, NATO under

building and strategic-level training of Libyan high-ranking mili-

the influence of the US and its allies from the southern region, have come to focus much more on the Mediterranean area. The assessment of the risks and threats

tary and civilians through the so-called

Libya is implicitly offered the same basis for cooperation with NATO as others.

“NATO Regional Cooperation Course” at the NATO Defense College (NDC). With regard to the European

resulting from the socio-economic prob-

initiatives, the Libyan leaders have the

lems of the Southern Mediterranean and

opportunity to tap into these forums. In

Middle East were quite accurate. The Alliance with its own

terms of socio-economic development, the EU, under the lead-

Mediterranean initiative seeks to develop a security dialogue

ership of the Commission and the Council, has defined specific

with non‐member riparian states. However, sensitive political

strategies towards each Southern Mediterranean partner. From

issues have tended to be excluded from this dialogue. On the

the very beginning, the European Communities, and then the

other hand, NATO has defined a precise role in the area in order

European Union have recognized that certain interests are shared

to avoid duplication with parallel initiatives undertaken by the

by both rims of the mare nostrum. Political stability and economic

former WEU, the EU and some Allies’ national policies (namely

development were the main goals to be achieved by both the

France). To date, seven countries of the Mediterranean region

European institutions and the national political leaders. Under

are involved through bilateral agreements: Algeria, Egypt, Israel,

the influence of the southern European members, a process was

Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. According to the non-

launched in the early 1990s towards fourteen countries of the

discrimination principle, Libya is implicitly offered the same

Mediterranean area including Libya. As common policy of the

basis for cooperation with NATO as others. Upon request of the

EU under the direction of both the European Commission and

Libyan leadership, the Allies would adopt a tailored approach to

the Council of the EU, the “Barcelona Process”, later called

meet its specific needs. As for the framework of a negotiated

“European Neighborhood Policy” (ENP), covers three major

Individual Cooperation Program (ICP), the Alliance would es-

aspects of regional security that also convey the European con-

sentially provide “military service” which consists of collabora-

cerns and beliefs. The first dimension called “Political and Secu-

tive activities such as military education, training and doctrine,

rity Dialogue” was set up to create a peaceful and stable area

defense policy and strategy, defense investment, civil emergency

through the implementation of principles of rule of law, democ-

planning, public diplomacy, crisis management, armaments, and

racy and human rights. The second one, the “Economic and Fi-

intelligence activities. Over fifteen years, a wide range of mecha-

nancial Partnership”, consists of progressively establishing a free-

nisms have been used and tailored which could definitely be

trade zone characterized by shared economic opportunities

useful for the region in the wake of security challenges: a tailored

through sustainable and balanced socio-economic development.

Operational

Capabilities

Finally, the “Social, Cultural and Human

Concept

(OCC) which aims to improve the ability to contribute effectively to NATOled crisis response operations through achieving interoperability; the access to

The uneven EU initiatives were not always fully supported by the major European players.

a trust fund mechanism that currently

Partnership” should contribute to promoting “understanding and intercultural dialogue between cultures, religions and people, and facilitating exchanges between civil society and ordinary citizens,

includes ongoing substantial projects; the enhancement of its

particularly women and young people”. The results were not

civil preparedness through a Civil Emergency Planning (CEP)

necessarily those expected and quite uneven because of several

action plan in order to prevent damages and to protect the popu-

major factors: a lack of coordination between the European insti-

lation and the critical infrastructures following either natural

tutions, the overlapping with national initiatives and the misjudg-

disasters or high-level criminal attacks; the creation of a Libyan

ment of the diversity of expectations and perceptions among the

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

8


southern partners. Despite the detailed action plan for each

leaders of the five members of the Union du Maghreb Arabe and

country drafted by the European Commission and the newly

from the Mediterranean countries (France, Italy, Portugal,

established European External Action Service, North African

Spain, and Malta). At a ministerial level, the 5+5 Mediterranean

countries were still perceived as threats (e.g. migration, terror-

group deals with several topics, namely within the ‘Barcelona

ism, drug- and arms-trafficking) than as real partners. As a re-

Process’: defense, energy security, immigration, education,

sult, the European partners tended to give priority to the hard

transportation, etc. The newly elected Libyan authorities will

security dimension (joint border control, national initiatives for

have to decide whether they want to renew their commitment to

heavy arms supply to security services) turning a blind eye to the

this informal process or not. Despite the participants repeatedly

use of financial aid (misappropriation of European funds, corrup-

stating that this process does not duplicate other initiatives, it is

tion,

quite difficult to

predatory

behavior of the

maintain.

It

local élite, etc.).

seems to be a

International

result that restate

flects a balance

that some of the

of power be-

leading European

tween

countries yielded

European coun-

to the “migration

tries, and the

threat”

and

to

unsatisfying

some

leaders’

cooperation as

blackmailing. The

well as the con-

observers

tinuous rivalry

latest Joint Communication by the

some

Writings on a wall in Tripoli

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Secu-

between

the

Southern Mediterranean countries.

rity Policy and the European Commission (November 2011) confirms the latter. It does not change the mindset according to which the European bureaucratic apparatus as a “philanthropic

Conclusion

entity” could not act without analyzing the current events in

The first general elections in Libya led the designation of the

Libya and in its neighborhood in terms of “aid”. Likewise, the

General National Congress (GNC) which will not have as duties

latest initiative – the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) – has

to draft a new constitution as initially announced. The 200 mem-

become a hollow shell because of the “unified” vision that it im-

bers will soon appoint a panel of 60 personalities to that pur-

plies. Neither the initial qualification of “Mediterranean Union”

pose. Certainly, the way of conducting relations with the “new

nor the approved final version under German pressure do match

Libya” as with other countries should be reviewed. After centu-

the reality.

ries of influencing international affairs, the members of the At-

The uneven EU initiatives were not always fully supported

lantic Alliance have lost their hegemony to a certain degree.

by the major European players either. Indeed, even if they were

They still have the ability to persuade but the preventive inter-

officially designed to be complementary, the EU hard security

vention in order to protect the Libyan people against Qaddafi’s

actions towards the Southern Mediterranean rim were chal-

violent repression, namely in Benghazi, has shown that it re-

lenged by the French program named “5+5” process (dialogue

quires specific circumstances. This display of influence remains

5+5). Originally proposed by the French President François

exceptional and is not an end in itself. NATO officials’ self-

Mitterrand in the early 1980s, but only endorsed in 1990 by the

proclaimed success is only justifiable from a military standpoint.

Italian President Bettino Craxi, and the Spanish Prime Minister

The political aspect is not to be underestimated since Libya has

Felipe González, these informal meetings bring together political

historically succumbed to instability. The Euro-Atlantic powers

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

9


have a clear vision of what the new Libya should look like: de-

questions among the Allies about burden-sharing and the Alli-

mocratized, a liberalized economy, an effective protection of

ance’s cohesion and the risk of a de facto two-tier Alliance, the

human rights, etc. But there are challenging powers (e.g.

consensus rule within the North Atlantic Council, the coordina-

Qatar’s financial support of religious movements, ancestral tribal

tion between the Alliance and the EU, the development of ap-

composition of the population) affecting the Libyan society and

propriate capabilities, and the coordination between NATO

the emerging leaders. According to the reactions of western

activities and those of other international organizations. The

leaders, the newly elected GNC seems to satisfy those wishes. 80

short term mission in Libya is now over but the Allies, acting in

seats were allocated only to political parties: 39 seats won by the

coordination with other multilateral institutions, should be ready

Alliance of National Forces (NFA) led by Mahmoud Jibril; 17 for

to respond to a potential Libyan request, if necessary.

Justice and Reconstruction (PJR) associated to the Muslim Brotherhood movement; finally, a multitude of small groups The first move into this direction is the change operated in June

share the remaining 24 seats; 120 seats were reserved for inde-

1

pendent candidates. But, again, the ideological spectrum is quite

2012 when following tensions within the NTC, its members

narrow, religion is entirely part of Libyan life and culture. More-

decided to adjust the mandate of the General National Congress.

over, like in all parliamentarian regimes, the next step is to agree

2

on shaping alliances and coalitions between independents and

Multifunctional Civilian Crisis Management Resources in an

political parties. In order to gain influence, allies should act very

Integrated Format - Civilian Response Team”, General Secre-

carefully; they should not repeat some mistakes which could be

tariat Document, DG IX, 10462/05 OA-SB/BL, Brussels, 2005.

used as justification for authoritative outcomes, e.g. sultanistic

3

centralized regimes. As this short paper has shown, the allies

the Italian Republic, the Kingdom of The Netherlands and the

have many means to help the Libyan central government. These

Portuguese Republic, establishing the European Gendarmerie

means cover a large part of the security spectrum. But a new

Force (EUROGENDFOR), 2006.

mindset would consist of recognizing that it is up to the legiti-

4

mate Libyan government to request joining the different pro-

Mission-Iraq”, NATO Defense College Research Paper, n 67, April

grams or to renew/to decline previous commitments. Mean-

2011.

Council of the European Union: “Civilian Headline Goal 2008 -

Treaty between the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic,

Gaub, Florence: “Building a New Military? The NATO Training o

while, even if NATO is capable of deploying powerful forces in large numbers, and of using them to enable entry where necessary, it is not its role to commit to nation-building missions.

The views expressed in this article are entirely those of the

NATO itself fully depends on the contribution of its members

author. They do not necessarily represent the views of the Atlantic

and other international organizations. It has no real capabilities

Treaty Association, its members, affiliates or staff.

for civil implementation and/or low-end peace enforcement missions. As demonstrated, several initiatives are in competition to perform the myriad of non-military functions essential for the

About the author

success of any nation-building operation. However, unlike the 1990s’ events in Central and Eastern Europe, the events of 2011

Samir Battiss

in the Middle East/Northern Africa region take place in a funda-

Dr Samir Battiss is currently lecturer at the Department of

mentally different historical, cultural area with specific strategic

Political Science of the Quebec University in Montreal

factors at play. To date, it has been sufficient to focus diplomacy

(Canada) and associate researcher at the Research Center

on the top governmental leadership; from now on, the western

for International Relations of the National School of Public

countries’ – common or national – strategy should also focus on

Administration (Montreal, Canada).

a broader cultural, sectarian, ethnic and tribal civil society, far from their traditional mindset. The experience in Afghanistan as well as the Libyan case raise Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

10


Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 7

11


ATA Programs From 8 to 14 July 2012, the first ever Model NATO simulation took place in Brussels, at the Free University of Brussels. The socalled “Model NATO Youth Summit” (MoNYS) attracted more

Atlantic Voices is the monthly publication of the Atlantic Treaty Association. It aims to inform the debate on key issues that affect the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, its goals and its future. The work published in Atlantic Voices is written by young professionals and researchers.

than 250 students from 37 countries representing 70 universities in 5 continents. ATA supported the event through the organization of the opening ceremony, a high-level panel discussion on NATO-EU relations in the European Parliament and a gala reception at the Club Prince Albert.

The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) is an international nongovernmental organization based in Brussels working to facilitate global networks and the sharing of knowledge on transatlantic cooperation and security. By convening political, diplomatic and military leaders with academics, media representatives and young professionals, the ATA promotes the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty: Democracy, Freedom, Liberty, Peace, Security and Rule of Law. The ATA membership extends to 37 countries from North America to the Caucasus throughout Europe. In 1996, the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) was created to specifially include to the successor generation in our work. Since 1954, the ATA has advanced the public’s knowledge and understanding of the importance of joint efforts to transatlantic security through its international programs, such as the Central and South Eastern European Security Forum, the Ukraine Dialogue and its Educational Platform.

Atlantic Voices is always seeking new material. If you are a young researcher, subject expert or professional and feel you have a valuable contribution to make to the debate, then please get in touch. We are looking for papers, essays, and book reviews on issues of importance to the NATO Alliance. For details of how to submit your work please see our website. Further enquiries can also be directed to the ATA Secretariat at the address listed below.

In 2011, the ATA adopted a new set of strategic goals that reflects the constantly evolving dynamics of international cooperation. These goals include:

the establishment of new and competitive programs on international security issues.

the development of research initiatives and security-related events for its members.

the expansion of ATA’s international network of experts to countries in Northern Africa and Asia. The ATA is realizing these goals through new programs, more policy

Editor: Florian Bauernfeind

All images published in this issue of Atlantic Voices are the property of NATO, reproduced with NATO’s permission, unless otherwise stated. Images should not be reproduced without permission from sources listed, and remain the sole property of those sources.

activism and greater emphasis on joint research initiatives. These programs will also aid in the establishment of a network of international policy experts and professionals engaged in a dialogue with NATO.

Atlantic Voices Vol. 2, no. 7  

Following the political events in Libya and in the framework of its Mediterranean Program, the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) dedicates t...

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