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Power and force: Libya's relations with the United States.


Qaddafi has been described as irrational, impulsive, erratic, unpredictable, quixotic, bizarre, and saturated with insatiable ambition. However, one cannot view the Libyan president through the prism or perspective of Western nations. This paper contends that intrinsic to the relations between the United States and Libya during the Qaddafi regime is the competition for power. In spite of force and the threat of force, and unlike King Idris Al-Sanusi's Libya (1) and many African governments, the Libyan administration of Qaddafi has pursued a foreign policy of confrontation, self- assertion, aggression, and competition for power with the United States. Moreover, after nearly three decades of isolation and containment by the United States, in the end, it was not force but diplomacy that brought about a resolution of the quagmire. Despite his shortcomings, Qaddafi remains a leader to be reckoned with.

Intrinsic to the relations between the United States and Libya is the competition for power. Traditional political realists like Hans Morgenthau long ago wrote that power is the immediate objective of nations regardless of their ultimate aim of international politics. Therefore, for Morgenthau, international politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power. (2) In view of these two nations, one would also agree that "international politics is a struggle for power not only because of the inherent logic of a competitive realm such as world politics, but also because of the limitless character of the lust for power [which] reveals a general quality of the human mind." (3)

However, critics like Keohane characterized Morgenthau's conceptualization of world politics as a struggle for power murky, in that it fails to differentiate between power as the capability to influence the behavior of others and power as a resource. (4) Therefore, in the case of Libya, power becomes a resource or a state's national capabilities, which include military, economic, and territorial location, and natural resources. Libya, therefore, employed its national capabilities as an instrument of power, and, in this sense, power becomes a means to reach certain objectives but not an end in itself as the outcome of its use is necessarily uncertain. (5) Waltz would argue that, in relations between states, to use "power is to apply one's capabilities in an attempt to change someone else's behavior in certain ways." (6) During the period under study (1969-2006), Libya sought to maximize its capabilities in order to achieve its goals and defend its interests. Both the United States and Libya, in their dealings with each another, sought to maximize their power in an effort to achieve certain objectives, which included Arabism, prosperity, security and nationalism on the part of Libya, and democracy, freedom, prosperity and security, on the part of the United States. Legally in the international realm, Libya is equal to the United States. Such equality, however, does not extend to the economic, political and military realms.


In examining Libya's relations with the United States, one set of scholars has approached Libya's foreign policy from the perspective of the psychological determinants of Qaddafi's personality, thus depicting him as an irrational, power hungry, "blood thirsty megalomaniac, whose hegemonic ambitious are limitless and who lacks all sense of perspective and reality." (7) To explain Libya's relations in this manner leaves out the fundamental components and factors that have influenced the country's foreign policy, such as its history, geography, culture, Islamic values, colonialism, neocolonialism and nationalism. To this end, Ruth First argued that "to explain Libya by the temperament, eccentricity, even instability, of Gadafi is to make no meaningful explanation in terms of history and Libyan society." (8) In the opposite spectrum, some scholars have examined Libya's foreign policy from the point of view of Qaddafi's ideological preferences viewing him as rational, devoted to the cause of Arab nationalism, and advocating a variant of utopian socialism as manifested in his Third Universal Theory. (9) This is clearly congruent and consistent with his objectives and some ideological promulgation advocated and held by the Libyan leader. Therefore, in light of the second school of thought, one would agree that related to power is the ideological component of Qaddafi's foreign policy, and "ideologies, like all ideas, are weapons that may raise the national morale, and with it the power of one nation and in the very act of doing so may lower the morale of the opponent." (10)

At the heart of Qaddafi's ideology is Arab nationalism upon which "Libya is the heart, the vanguard, and hope of the Arab nation and thus the custodian of Arab nationalism." (11) Central to his Arab nationalism is the feeling of pride that the Arabs are equal, if not superior, to other races and that he has the obligation to manage their affairs, resources and shape and manage their fortunes. To Qaddafi, Islam and Arabism are synonymous and, therefore, the religion of Arab nationalism is Islam of which Arab nationalism is the centerpiece of his ideology. The Jihad or Holy War is the action or revolutionary force of Arab nationalism. To Qaddafi, "any contribution to liberate the world from imperialism [American influence] should be considered an integral part of the Jihad." (12) Although considered a predominantly Islamic nation, Libya has not been sympathetic to Islamic radicalism and its religious practices are not like those of fundamentalist societies. (13) In Qaddafi's Green Book, Libyans believe that "Islam can be the only basis satisfactorily stable to support all revolutions in the world [and] as a moral basis it has provided men with a basis for the social change which necessarily accompanies political revolution." (14) Therefore, during the Qaddafi era, religion has become the single most influential determinant of foreign policy, as well as a powerful influence in mobilizing the masses. (15)

With the end of the Cold War, the United States, like other Western nations, was confident in its claim that its values, notably capitalism and liberal democracy, had achieved universal acceptance. However Libya, like many Islamic nations, did not share the U.S. views. Upon seizing power in 1969, Qaddafi saw his coup d'etat as the beginning of a broader, deeper intense revolution yet to come, of which the enemies were Israel and the United States. As a result of its unrelenting support for Israel, the United States has been seen by Qaddafi and other Arab leaders as a prime obstacle to Arab nationalism and the fulfillment of Arab nationalist goals. To this end, Libya has criticized U.S. support for Israel and has singled out the United States as a target for Arab retribution because the former symbolizes the Western world. Since he came to power, Qaddafi has embarked on an effort to develop an anti-Western movement based on and informed by Islam. Such a movement has rejected Western values, culture and influence. Emphasizing the revolution's objectives as those of unity, socialism and freedom, Qaddafi at the very beginning was poised to challenge the forces of neo-colonialism and Western influence in Libya and other parts of the Arab world.

Unlike his predecessor, Qaddafi moved Libya out of the Western camp and into closer ties and association with the Arab world. During the first years, he embarked on the transformation, elimination and replacement of all signs and traces of Western values and belongings in an effort to rid his country of Western influence. He saw U.S. and British military bases within Libya as remnants of colonialism and imperialism and moved to close them. He confiscated Italian assets, transformed foreign banks to Libyan joint stock companies, withdrew Libyan reserves from British banks, nationalized British Petroleum (BP), and mandated that all foreign firms operating in Libya's oil fields convert to partnerships with the government--with the latter holding 51 percent of ownership. Regionally, he attempted to block the presence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the Mediterranean Sea by influencing the Malta government to deny access to air and naval facilities to NATO forces.

It was evident, right from the very beginning of his rule, that Qaddafi's policies would oppose U.S. presence and influence in Libya and the surrounding region. Because of Qaddafi's aggressive and ambitious policies, the United States considered him and his government a serious threat to its interests in North Africa and the Middle East. Even though Libya is a small country in both size and population, Qaddafi, armed with an ambitious and aggressive foreign policy, moved quickly to position his tiny country as the regional leader and hegemon within the region and an important player in global politics in direct competition with the United States. Unlike other political leaders in Africa and the Middle East, Qaddafi worked aggressively to make sure that Libya had a significant role to play in the global stage. Partly due to the country's oil wealth and its adherence to Islamic principles, which sought to limit contact and cooperation with the West, Qaddafi was able to assert a significant level of economic and political independence at the global stage. He refused U.S. aid and, unlike other African and Middle Eastern leaders whose economies were dependent on development aid from the West, Qaddafi was able to effectively challenge the United States at many international forums.

In the early 1970s, Libya began a diplomatic offensive aimed at isolating Israel, a country that since its inception in 1948, has been considered an enemy of Arab nationalism, and succeeded in getting eight African heads of states to sever diplomatic relations with Israel. (16) Again, unlike many African governments, the Libyan administration of Qaddafi pursued a policy of confrontation, self-assertion, aggression, and competition for power with the United States. Although Libya declared a foreign policy of non-alignment, in reality, the country was staunchly anti-American. Following the military coup. d'etat that brought Qaddafi to power, and in an effort to assert national independence, Qaddafi insisted on the early termination of agreements that had been signed between many Western governments and Libya for maintenance, by the Western countries, of military bases on Libyan soil. As a result, virtually all of these bases were closed. (17) Contrary to what the American government believed, with respect to the continuation of friendly relations with Libya in the aftermath of the closing of U.S. bases in Libya, Qaddafi made it clear that Libya would not maintain any positive diplomatic relations with the United States because of the latter's support of the government of Israel and vowed that Americans would "pay dearly for the wrongs and perfidy they inflicted on us." (18) The U.S. bases were seen as remnants of colonialism and imperialism and, as such, Qaddafi moved quickly to close them. In spite of the fact that the United States agreed to continue to train Libyan pilots, sell jet fighters and other military equipment to Libya, as well as help Libya with military intelligence, Qaddafi was unwilling to relinquish his rabid anti-American stand.

As part of the effort to diminish Western influence in the Arab world, Qaddafi was vehemently opposed to the U.S. presence in various areas of the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. He moved to keep the Arab region safe from Western imperialism and called on the Arab nations to drive the United States out of its other military bases in North Africa and the Middle East. To his Arab counterparts, he declared as follows: "We consider the presence of the American troops in Egypt, Somalia and Oman as an invasion and a flagrant aggression against other independent states, even if this presence is at the request of the government of these states." (19) From the very beginning, Libyan foreign policy under Qaddafi was a distinct departure from that of the monarchy. Qaddafi was consistent with its pan-Arabism policy. He moved quickly to break diplomatic relations with Egypt under the leadership of Anwar Sadat, whose foreign policy had moved the country closer to the United States and the West. In addition, Libya denounced the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, which had been brokered with the help of Sadat and the U.S. president Jimmy Carter, and led the effort to isolate Egypt in the Arab world. That treaty was considered by many Arab leaders, including Qaddafi, as a betrayal of the Palestinians, who, it was argued, were now left in permanent exile and without a homeland. Libya's 1984 attempt at unification with Morocco, an American ally, upset the United States. It was because of this new relationship that Morocco refused to support France, its traditional ally, against Qaddafi in the latter's incursion into Chad, a former French colony and a member of La Francophonie (Organisation internationale de la Francophonie)--the international organization of French-speaking peoples.

While the United States supported Israel, Libya sought continental and regional support for the Palestinian cause. The Palestine issue was central and integral to his perception of an Arab identity and an Arabism that required the need for Arab unity in confronting the challenges of imperialism and Zionism. As a young man, influenced by the ideas of the Egyptian revolutionary Jamal Abdul Nasser, Qaddafi saw himself as Nasser's heir apparent and considered himself a muddled mix of Nasserist nationalism, Western anarcho-syndicalism and desert egalitarianism. (20) However, Qaddafi was not pretending to be a resurrected Nasser, who stunned the Arab world in the 1950s and early 1960s with a new brand of pan-Arabism, which sought to free Muslims from Western imperialism. Instead, Qaddafi, while informed and to a great extent influenced by the exploits of his political and cultural idol, Nasser, sought to leave his own mark on the struggle of Arabs and Muslims worldwide against Western imperialism. First and foremost in his mind was the need for Arabs to have one voice with which to oppose Western influence in the region. Hence, his relentless pursuit of Arab unity. (21) It is "this persistence in seeking to make Arab unity a reality that has distinguished Qaddafi from contemporary proponents of Arab unity." (22) His passionate support for groups fighting for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state is a practical example of his battle against Zionism and imperialism. To Qaddafi, the failure of the Arab world to establish a free and independent Palestinian state is a major embarrassment to all Arabs. He argued fervently that the issue of Palestine is fundamental to Arab unity and that the Arab world cannot achieve genuine unity without the liberation of Palestine (i.e., the destruction of the state of Israel and its replacement by a Palestinian state with headquarters in a unified Jerusalem). Hence, he argued, Arab unity is meaningless as long as Palestinians continued to languish in refugee camps throughout the region. As a consequence, he announced that he was willing to go to war with Israel on behalf of the Palestinian cause because his "attitude towards other countries ... [had] been shaped and conditioned by their official positions on Palestine." (23)

Libya saw three disturbing issues blocking the process of achieving total Arab unity. First was Israel, which was considered an ultimate enemy that kept the Arabs divided. The second was U.S. "imperial" policies in the region, which not only strengthened and preserved the existence of Israel but also spread influence over other Arab regimes in the region. Lastly, were the pro- Western, "reactionary" Arab governments whose vulnerability and weakness allied them with U.S. imperialism. (24) Since the United States is determined to continue to support the existence of Israel, Libya considers the United States an obstacle to genuine Arab unity and an enemy of Arab nationalism. (25) Given the fact that during the Cold War, Israel was considered an important ally in the struggle against communism and as a buffer against further Soviet expansion into the region, the United States and the West have, generally, been very supportive of generous military and other forms of aid to the government in Tel Aviv. Of course, Israel has provided military bases necessary for the defense of U.S. interests, especially as regards the oil fields of Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, in the region. (26)

By 1972, the American Embassy in Libya had been severely downgraded. The 1973-1976 periods marked a steady deterioration in Libyan-U.S. relations. As Qaddafi's Libya continued its campaign against U.S. interests, it became difficult and even dangerous for the U.S. government to maintain a presence in Libya. Major areas of conflict between the United States and Libya included the latter's support for Palestine and the PLO, Qaddafi's position on the Arab-Israeli conflict and his increasing hostility toward U.S. interests not only in Libya but in all of North Africa and the Middle East, and his opposition to the peace proposals put forth by the United States following the end of the Arab-Israeli war. At the end of the war, Qaddafi called on the Arab nations to reexamine "their alliance with the enemy of the Arab nation and the cheap and deep flowing supplies of oil which only meets the requirements of the enemy." (27)

During the 1973-1974 period, Libya nationalized several U.S. properties in the country. When the United States challenged Libya's nationalization of Bunker Hunt Oil Company as 'arbitrary' and 'discriminatory,' Qaddafi reacted by nationalizing three more U.S. oil companies. On its part, the United States delayed the delivery of some C-130 transport planes and a $200 million air defense system. Libya was not worried; its leaders turned to the Soviet Union in 1976 for assistance in acquiring necessary military equipment, which included highly sophisticated military weapons. The deal allowed Libya to strengthen its military and economic relations with the communist state. In the process, Libya provided the Soviet Union with the opportunity to enter the region and establish itself as the new hegemon, displacing the United States. A report published by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1977 labeled Libya the fourth leading enemy of the United States. (28) The United States subsequently abandoned its policy of conciliation and, instead, pursued a low-keyed policy of operation based on covert activities.

In an attempt to distinguish Libya and create an international status for his country, Qaddafi rejected Soviet communism and Western capitalism. Abhorring capitalism and communism as two sides of the same monopolistic coin, Qaddafi came with his Third Universal Theory, which was a bold attempt to find a practical alternative to capitalism and communism in the best interest of Libya and Libyans. Like the United States and the Soviet Union, as world leaders attempting to spread their democratic and communist ideologies, Qaddafi was determined to establish his country as a leader in the global transmission of Islam and for decades struggled to achieve that goal. (29) Libya limited its relationship with the Soviets mainly to the purchase of arms, which it needed to use against Israel, as well as to deter any threat from Egypt. Libya maintained commercial relations with the United States and its European allies based on the export of its oil and the importation of Western technology. In this fashion, Libya, unlike many developing nations, which outwardly profess nonalignment but in reality remain practically close to the West, remained truly non-aligned and truly independent. With the elimination of the communist and Western influence, Qaddafi's foreign policy focused on Africa and the Arab world, bent on total unification of the Arab countries of which his non-alignment was Pan-Arabism.

Ronald Reagan's presidency symbolized the highest degree of tension in Libyan-U.S. relations. As the Reagan administration moved to reassert U.S. power and influence in the Middle East and in the world, it embarked on a confrontational foreign policy and moved to discredit Libya as a Soviet puppet, while mounting military, economic and diplomatic pressure on the revolutionary government. (30) Following repeated accusations of terrorism and subversion, the Reagan administration altered U.S. policy towards Libya by designating Qaddafi as an enemy. Besides, the Reagan government engaged in broad range covert activities targeting Libya, including encouragement of opposition groups, a disinformation campaign, propaganda, and sabotage. Throughout most of the 1980s, U.S. policy towards Libya emphasized the Reagan administration's decision to topple the regime of Qaddafi. As Takeyh explained, the fact is that Qaddafi's regional ambitions, "while disturbing to Americans, [have] never actually destabilized fundamental U.S. interests." (31)

Why was the United States so threatened by a small North African country to the extent of hatching assassination plots against its leader? For decades, Libya was perceived as a growing and disruptive threat to U.S. interests and those of the latter's allies. The regime in Tripoli was deemed "a cancer that had to be removed." Fortunately, for Gaddafi, a French plot with U.S. support to assassinate him was abandoned following the electoral defeat of French President Giscard d'Estaing. Still, Reagan continued with the offensive and held naval exercises in waters claimed by Libya in an apparent attempt to provoke a response from the Qaddafi government. When a Libyan plane noticed U.S. planes penetrating its airspace, Libya unleashed its fighters, intercepting them over the Mediterranean Sea. As a response, the U.S. Navy shot down two Libyan jet fighters. On its part, Libya entered into a political and economic agreement with South Yemen and Ethiopia with the objective of countering U.S. interests in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean. Besides, the United States was unsuccessful in convincing African governments to abandon Tripoli as the venue for the annual meeting of the Heads of State of the Organization of African Unity. With the meeting taking place in the Libyan capital, Qaddafi would, according to the organization's rules, become the leader of the OAU for a year. The United States considered that unacceptable and worked hard to convince African leaders that it was not in their best interest to allow Libya and Qaddafi to be so honored. (32)

Having declared Libya a state sponsor of terrorism, between 1982 and 1985, the United States took a number of economic measures against Libya. First, the United States placed a ban on the importation of Libyan crude oil. Second, it expanded controls on most U.S. exports to Libya, and denied licenses for high technology items, as well as the export of oil and gas equipment. An exception, however, was made for medicines, medical supplies and food. Finally, the United States persuaded other Western nations to join in the isolation of Libya. However, it was unable to get the support of the European powers to launch an economic blockade, which meant victory for the Qaddafi regime. Consequently, the United States pursued unilateral action in what it perceived as a threat to its national interests. Qaddafi threatened that continued U.S. hostility would only lead to closer cooperation between Libya and the Soviet Union. The result, he claimed, "might be the transformation of Libya into a communist nation, a Cuba in the Arab World." (33) In reaction to an alleged Libyan threat to the Sudanese government in 1983, the Reagan administration dispatched AWAC surveillance aircraft to Egypt with the expectation that the latter would launch a counterattack against the Libyan air force. When the Reagan administration ordered 1,500 American technicians and their dependents to leave Libya following the intensification of tensions between the two nations, Libya retaliated by requesting joint action by the OPEC nations against the United States. However, OPEC members rejected his demand and explained that it was a political matter that should be left for individual governments to handle. (34)

Libyan incursions into Chad also bothered U.S. policymakers. Libya had long felt that Chad might serve as a springboard for the former's subversive activities. Chad provided a sanctuary for Qaddafi's greatest rivals, Prince Abdallah al-Senussi and Omar Shalhi who utilized Chad as a base for organizing a raid against Sebha, in southern Libya. As noted by Solomon and Swart, "Chad threatened Libyan security before Libya turned the tables." (35) Libya's quest for pan-African unity and particularly, the pan-Islamic African federation, its interest to consolidate control over the mineral deposits in the Aouzou strip, and its desire to neutralize Western influence in central Africa, were among the motivating factors behind its involvement and eventual military intervention in Chad. (36) Following Libya's incursion into Chad, the Reagan administration sent financial assistance, weapons, including aircraft carries, to Chad's African neighbors, and requested them to send troops in support of the Chadian government. Likewise, the United States requested France, the former colonial ruler of Chad, to intervene, providing logistical support for French military operations in the disputed Aouzou strip region in northern Chad. Furthermore, the United States offered to provide assistance to countries wishing to resist Libyan intervention and dramatically increased its assistance to Tunisia, Sudan and Morocco. (37)

When Qaddafi announced a proposed merger with Morocco, the United States was concerned that the union of a moderate U.S. ally, King Hassan, with one of its strongest enemies in Africa could threaten its interests in the region and beyond. Washington was displeased and stated that the alliance only served to lend credibility to Qaddafi's regime. (38) The Reagan administration took steps to end the Qaddafi regime as well, and orchestrated assassination attempts on the Libyan leader as hostility towards Tripoli reached a climax. (39) U.S. measures included collaborating with Sudan, Egypt and Israel, in a deliberate move to provoke Qaddafi into taking actions that would elicit justifiable American retaliation. (40) Reagan's forceful efforts to end Qaddafi's regime became an insurmountable challenge, as overthrowing political regimes is not feasible because "leaders are hard to kill, governments are harder to overthrow, and even if the targeted government can be overthrown, the coercer can rarely guarantee that its replacement will be more forthcoming." (41) At this point, it is necessary to examine the force behind Qaddafi's power and independent foreign policy.


Qaddafi's strength and activism at home and abroad stem from the financial freedom secured from oil. Libya's oil wealth emboldened its leaders to demand the closure of U.S. and British bases located in the North African country because the domestic economy was no longer dependent on foreign subsidies for development. Oil revenue allowed the country to purchase arms to the tune of approximately $2 billion a year. (42) In addition to strengthening the military, earnings from oil have been used to build regional and international alliances, to intervene militarily in other states, to assist various revolutionary groups and, perhaps, to aid terrorist organizations. From a position of strength, Qaddafi nationalized foreign assets, including some American and British oil interests and terminated all agreements signed between his country and the United States. Following the nationalization of British Petroleum (BP) in 1971, the United States urged its oil companies to cease buying oil produced from the confiscated BP assets in Libya. The latter, however, was able to quickly secure new markets for its oil in Eastern Europe and was able to resist American and Western European influence, and in 1973, nationalized the holdings of the U.S.-based Bunker Hunt Company. Foreign companies that declined Libya's offer of majority government participation, including a buy back price of $4.90 per barrel, were nationalized in 1974. (43) With the onset of the Arab-Israeli war in 1973, Libya resorted to the use of its oil resources as a political weapon in an effort to help the Arab side in the conflict. Qaddafi immediately cut off oil supplies from Libya to the United States. However, Libya continued to purchase Western technology and expertise to help in the exploitation and processing of the country's oil reserves.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, Qaddafi continued to increase the state's level of participation in the exploitation of the country's natural resources, especially oil. By the late 1980s, the state's participation in the production of oil had risen from 60 percent to 80 percent, with the government indicating that it would eventually drive out all foreign companies and achieve 100 percent ownership and control of the oil sector. The hope was that by that time Libyan nationals would have acquired the skills needed to manage the nation's oil fields without the need to depend on foreign expertise. Using oil as a weapon, Libya hoped to pursue a foreign policy based on non-alignment. The latter was supposed to be a means through which the country could not only influence the Arab world but the international community generally. (44)


The allegation, by the United States, that Libya was a supporter of international terrorism and that Libya possessed weapons of mass destruction, was, for many years, a significant factor in the hostility that characterized relations between the two countries. Central to the conflict was the perception of what terrorism is and is not. Successive U.S. administrations made accusations that Libya supported terrorism and subversion in North Africa and the Middle East. For decades, Libya, however, defended itself and claimed that its activities were designed to assist peoples that were fighting colonialism and seeking to free themselves from foreign occupation. His country, Qaddafi argued, did not support terrorism and was not in the habit of sending money to terrorist organizations. Qaddafi then went on to accuse the United States of confusing genuine support for national liberation movements with the support of terrorism and asked Washington to define what it meant by terrorism. He dared the United States to gather information on any supposed Libyan support of international terrorism and submit it to the International Court of Justice. (45)

On the defense and in a move to bolster its case, the Reagan administration sought to differentiate between terrorism and insurgency. Accordingly, Washington provided definitions for terrorism and insurgency:
   Terrorism is the use or threatened use of violence for a
   political purpose to create a state of fear, which will aid in
   extorting, coercing, intimidating or causing individuals and
   groups to alter their behavior. A terrorist group does not
   need a defined territorial base or specific organizational
   structure. Its goals need not relate to any one country. It
   does not require nor necessarily seeks a popular base of
   support. Its operations, organization and movements are
   secret. Its activities do not conform to rules of law or
   warfare. Its targets are civilians, non-combatants, bystanders
   or symbolic persons and places. Its victims generally have
   no role in either causing or correcting the grievance of the
   terrorists. Its methods are hostage-taking, aircraft piracy or
   sabotage, assassination, threats, hoaxes, and indiscriminate
   bombings or shootings. (46)

On the other hand,
   Insurgency is a state of revolt against an established
   government. An insurgent group has a defined organization,
   leadership and location. Its members wear a uniform. Its
   objectives are acquisition of political power, achievement of
   participation in economic or political opportunity and
   national leadership or, ultimately, taking power from
   existing leadership. Its primary interests relate to one
   country. Its methods are military and paramilitary. Its target
   are military, both tactical and strategic, and its legitimate
   operations are governed by the international rules of armed
   conflict. It operates in the open, and it actively seeks a basis
   of popular support. (47)

While the U.S. government has condemned Libya's support of terrorism and subversion, the former's position was compromised by its support of autocratic regimes, especially in Africa and Latin America, and its unwillingness to condemn state-sponsored terrorism by its various allies in the fight against global communism. At the time when the Reagan administration was condemning Libya for sponsoring terrorist organizations, Washington was using the CIA to support the Nicaraguan contras and destabilize the Nicaraguan government. In addition, U.S. complicity in other terrorist-related activities around the world at the time also cast a cloud over the Reagan administration's dedication to the rule of law, especially outside the United States. (48)

In addition to supporting groups fighting for independence, Qaddafi also provided assistance to those, especially in the Middle East, that were fighting to rid their societies of Western influence. Through these activities, Qaddafi cultivated seeds of unrest in the Arab world and Africa. Using the country's oil wealth, Qaddafi provided financial, economic, and military support to various groups throughout Africa, Latin America and the Middle East that were either fighting to liberate themselves from foreign occupation or simply wanted to rid their culture from Western contamination. Qaddafi (1) supported South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) in its struggle to overthrow the apartheid regime; (2) provided generous aid, including facilities for training of troops, to Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization; and (3) to various groups within Africa that were fighting continued domination by the Europeans. (49)

In supporting all these insurgencies, Qaddafi came to be considered a hero by many Third World dissidents and a terrorist by the West. The Reagan administration, which at the time, was supporting the murderous South African apartheid regime, continued to pressure the world community to isolate Qaddafi and punish him and his country, supposedly for promoting transnational terrorism. (50) Of course, also at this time, Reagan and his CIA-led operatives were busy destabilizing governments in Central America and in addition were turning a blind eye to the oppressive and terroristic activities of governments allied with the United States in the fight against terrorism. For many Africans in South Africa, for example, the Reagan administration's condemnation of Qaddafi was considered hypocrisy, especially considering the fact that Washington continued to support the apartheid regime which, on a monthly basis, was murdering hundreds of black children.


With the end of the Cold War, the United States, the only remaining superpower, emerged with overwhelming superior military capabilities. The United States employed military force, the E1 Dorado Canyon strikes, against Libya, presumably in retaliation for the 1986 bombing of the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin that killed two American technicians and wounded several others. The well-coordinated U.S. response bombed targets within Libya, including one of Qaddafi's residences. The Reagan administration considered these targets centers for the training and coordination of terrorist activities. Although the U.S. government, at the time, claimed to have evidence of the complicity of Libyan state agents in the bombing of the West Berlin discotheque, such evidence has never been revealed to the world and so it is difficult to determine if Qaddafi or any of his security agents were ever involved in this tragedy. Shortly after the U.S. response, Qaddafi called on all Arab countries to unite forces and attack and destroy all U.S. targets, regardless of whether they were military or civilian. Speaking before a crowd of some 3,000 young adults in Tripoli, Qaddafi welcomed the idea of using suicide squads against U.S. targets and declared as follows: "I declare that we shall train them for terrorist and suicide missions and allocate trainers for them and place all the weapons needed for such missions at their disposal. I offer to the best of my ability to these volunteers with the Palestinians at their head, my personal protection because Libya is a base for the liberation for Palestine." (51)

Further confrontation between the United States and Libya occurred in 1981 during U.S. military maneuvers in territorial waters claimed by Libya and in 1986 in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Libyan coast, where the U.S. Navy was holding naval exercises. (52) Libya had claimed that the Gulf of Sidra was under its territorial waters and so when the United States crossed Qaddafi's so-called "line of death," Qaddafi's regime responded with force. In an attempt to defend itself, the U.S. Navy sunk two Libyan patrol boats, drowned 72 Libyan sailors, and destroyed the country's onshore antiaircraft missile site. Some observers, however, have argued that the defense argument advanced by the United States to explain the incident was bogus and that the United States had intentionally provoked Libya into the confrontation in order to humiliate Qaddafi and gain political advantage. According to Zakaria,
   [t]he Reagan administration was determined to coerce,
   harass and destabilize Kaddafi. It bombed Kaddafi's family
   compound in 1986. It launched covert operations against the
   regime. And, of course, it sanctioned the country. These
   policies were initially thought to have been successful, but
   it is now documented--in a study by the Defense
   Department--that they produced a marked increase in
   Libyan state-sponsored terror. (53)

Did the incident in the Gulf of Sidra and the Berlin disco bombing justify the use of force? The use of force against Libya may not have achieved any deterrence effect. Arguably, based on the lessons of historical precedence, the application of force may not be the answer to resolving interstate conflicts or tension. Force, however, may not only be ineffective but may actually aggravate disputes and, in certain instances, trigger wars between states. Where the two feuding countries are mismatched militarily, with one having an overwhelming superior military force, the much weaker one may be forced to resort to terrorism in order to defend itself. As such, the use of military force in response to terrorist acts has remained difficult and controversial at best. Scholars and policymakers are left with a dilemma as to when to use force or the threat of force, when to use a mixture of force and diplomacy, or when to rely solely on persuasive and peaceful diplomacy as an instrument of foreign policy. This has been a problem for successive U.S. governments. As argued by former U.S. president, George H. W. Bush, in an address to the U.S. Military Academy in 1993,
   ... when the stakes warrant, where and when force can be
   effective, where no other policies are likely to be effective,
   where its application can be limited in scope and time, and
   where the potential benefits justify the potential costs and
   sacrifice. There can be no single or simple set of fixed rules
   for using force.... Each and every case is unique. (54)

Equally, the debate was evident during the Reagan Administration between Secretary of State George Shultz and Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger. Weinberger was of the view that the United States should employ force only when its vital interests are at stake. Shultz believed that such a condition was too restrictive in that the United States had many significant interests that should be protected with diplomatic efforts backed by military power. The Defense Secretary, for one, was against direct U.S. military intervention in Third World conflicts. According to Weinberger, "[i]f we took the first small step of military intervention we might find ourselves, once again, as in Vietnam, on a 'slippery slope' that would eventually lead to a large-scale involvement of U.S, forces and prestige." (55) In addition, Weinberger argued that significant U.S. interests were often on the line in these conflicts and that the United States would be better off limiting its action to the provision of military supplies and advice, economic aid, as well as efficient employment of covert operations, and rely on diplomacy to protect its interests. On the other hand, Reagan's Secretary of State, George Shultz, agued that diplomacy and force cannot be completely separated, and insisted that power and diplomacy always go hand-in-hand and a diplomatic effort not backed by strength is ineffectual. Diplomacy would be more effective, Schultz argued, when supported with credible threats of force and, when warranted, with limited use of force. He reiterated that power and diplomacy must go hand-in-hand or the United States will accomplish very little in the world. (56)

Besides, the use of military force against terrorism has also drawn national and international criticism. However, in employing force, unintended and innocent civilians become the victims. This was the case when the United States bombed the two largest cities in Libya (Tripoli and Benghazi), killing more than sixty civilians. Another concern is that such actions violate international law, therefore, negatively affecting the potential of the responding power to acquire international support for its retaliation. For Libya, U.S. military strikes against the country strengthened Qaddafi's political standing within Libya and in the international community. International law does not sanction the use of force for retaliatory purposes; rather, it upholds the use of force for self-defense.

One concern is the idea that military force should be used proportionately. Nevertheless, the constraints on military action changed dramatically following September 11, 2001 when President George Bush declared war on terrorism and the states that provided support for it, thus creating a new paradigm codified in the new national security strategy. Included in the paradigm are the following: (1) increased legitimacy for the use of military retaliation; (2) less concern over the proportionality of response; (3) greater willingness to undertake high-risk operations; (4) greater legitimacy for preemptive action; and (5) legitimization of regime overthrow as a response.

However, the employment of military force to combat terrorism is not a panacea and, as U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate, military force has not succeeded in riding these two countries of terrorist attacks. The U.S. military appears to have been ill-prepared to deal with this unconventional approach to war. The U.S. armed forces, like the militaries of most other countries, remain essentially tied to traditional modes of warfare. The U.S. military is at its best when it comes to conventional systems of warfare with emphasis on traditional concepts of proportionality and limited collateral damage. This approach, however, is not likely to succeed in a struggle against terrorists and insurgents. Moreover, terrorism challenges the conventional system of warfare because terrorists fight unconventionally, employing guerrilla tactics, including old-fashioned fighting skills in "search and destroy" operations, retaliating asymmetrically, often engaging in forms of combat, such as torture and the mass murder of civilians, and wanton destruction of property, that are condemned and prohibited by all civilized nations. (57) Besides, military retaliation for terrorist attacks may have unpredictable political effects at the global level. As Hoyt has argued, "[r]etaliatory strikes that use the might of state-funded, high-technology conventional forces reinforce the disparity between terrorists and target states, gaining possible sympathy for terrorists and frequently resulting in international condemnation for the retaliating states." (58)

When threatened with the actual selective bombardment of few strategic places, and because of U.S. military and strategic superiority, Libya could not resort to retaliation but, more than likely and unfortunately, resorted to acts of deadly terrorism through its agents as the world was shocked in 1988 when a Pan-Am Flight 103 crashed on the town of Lockerbie in Scotland, killing 259 people on board and 11 persons on the ground. Of the 270 killed, 189 were U.S. citizens. A Libyan citizen was implicated in the Pan-Am terrorist bombing. Sadly, in the Libyan case, U.S. military superiority and military strikes had not deterred Libyans from striking at U.S. citizens through acts of international terrorism. Therefore, in the case of Libya, political analysts think the Reagan administration should have relied on diplomacy to protect U.S. interests and prevent the Pan Am disaster.

Obviously, U.S. thinking, following the end of the Cold War, was that the use of force was unlikely to spark the type of super-power confrontation and competition along with its attended risks. Its military strikes on Libya, it was thought, were not expected to result in a Russian-backed response. Aware of this limitation, the Libyans reacted by resorting to acts of terrorism. As such, terrorism appears to be a method of engagement between a superior military power and a militarily weaker nation.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, terrorism remained the primary threat to U.S. interests around the globe. Terrorist threats and acts of terrorism, such as September 11, 2001, continue to bewilder policymakers and residents of the United States. The need to approach this menace through diplomacy and the centrality of diplomacy in counter-terrorism strategy cannot be underestimated. After all, it was difficult negotiations and diplomacy, not force, that led Libya to surrender the two suspects in the Pan-Am disaster. South Africa and Saudi Arabia were instrumental in persuading Libya to extradite the suspects for trial in the Netherlands under a Scottish court and law. In this case, it was not force but diplomacy, which is:
   The cornerstone of a comprehensive, long-term,
   international counterterrorism strategy that seeks to
   politically discredit, operationally disrupt, and eventually
   defeat the most violent groups. Diplomacy is more than
   dialogue; it is the leveraging of all available foreign policy
   instruments to influence countries-allies and enemies alike-to
   deny terrorists the physical and political space they need
   to operate. Diplomacy interactions include cooperation
   within the intelligence, law enforcement, and military
   communities at the bilateral, regional, and international
   level. (59)

Besides, in the post-Cold War era, the United States pursued a policy of containment with the "rogue" state of Libya. However, reliance on this policy towards Libya or other rogue states has received growing criticism, and some scholars have suggested that the policy be coupled with engagement. In the case of Libya, containment alone was not likely to suffice. Rather than the military strikes, both nations should have engaged in a planned controlled policy of engagement. Are there lessons to be learned from the Reagan administration's use of force, specifically air and naval strikes against targets in Libya and Libya's perhaps concomitant retaliation of downing the Pan-Am Jet? However, power or force may not always result in diplomatic success in the fight against terrorism when the fundamental difficulty rests on the clash of cultures. As Wijk warned: "Using military means may exacerbate the potential that this campaign will be cast as a clash of civilizations, ultimately making the problem of terrorism even worse." (60)


Nevertheless, the use of force on Libyan cities as a deterrent against future Libyan-sponsored terrorism was counter-productive and an ironic justification given the subsequent Pan-Am bombing that killed hundreds of Americans. It is the view of this author that the strikes on Libya should have been substituted for crisis management, crisis avoidance, mediation, cooperation and a diplomatic solution rather than a hostile reactionary approach lacking a well-defined strategy. As Zunes stated,
   it appears Libya's most serious offense in the eyes of U.S.
   policymakers does not concern human rights abuses, terrorism,
   nuclear ambitions, subversion, or conquest but rather the impudence
   to challenge American hegemony in the Middle East. Regimes like
   Libya and other so-called "rogue states" are preventing the U.S.
   from exercising its political dominance over this crucial region.
   By overthrowing or subjugating these regimes, American policymakers
   believe they will gain unprecedented leverage in shaping the future
   direction of the Middle East.... Their role as an impediment to
   hegemonic American ambitions lends these regimes the credibility
   and legitimacy they would not otherwise receive, since most Middle
   Eastern people resent foreign domination. (61)

In addition, in spite of the Reagan administration's attempt to eliminate the Libyan leader, and the attack on the Bab Al-Aziziya military barracks in Tripoli that housed the Libyan leader and his family, "Qadhafi survived to remain a thorn in America's side." (62) But in the end, like a fairy tale, both the United States and Libya used diplomacy to end the mutual antagonism and entered an era of genuine friendship. Qaddafi's international support for other movements has begun to dwindle. Having ended its training for revolutionaries, Libya now urges liberation movements to resort to diplomacy to achieve their goals.

Libya has a significant role to play in Africa. As Takeyh has noted, "while Arab politicians equivocated during the 1990s, African leaders warmly embraced Qaddafi" and Mandela even hailed him as "one of the revolutionary icons of our time." (63) Gaddafi remains a staunch advocate of Africa and a sponsor of Africa's economic revival. Following the extraordinary summit of the OAU (now AU) hosted by Libya, the African leaders paid tribute to "Brother Muammar Al Gaddafi, leader of the Great Al Fatah Revolution," for his role and efforts as the son of Africa and reaffirmed their confidence in his "determined efforts, aimed at realizing Africa's collective vision for unity, cooperation, development, peace and security on the African continent." (64)

With the renunciation of terrorism and the dismantling of its WMD program, and with sanctions lifted, along with the removal of Libya from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, Qaddafi and the United States can now garner the benefits of engagement. Both countries have engaged in full diplomatic relations, thus heralding an historic period in Libya-U.S. relations. With the induction of the country into the war on terrorism, support from Libya could strengthen the coalition against international terrorism. In the end, it was diplomacy rather than force that influenced Libya to denounce terrorism and give up its pursuit of an WMD program. (65)


(1.) William Louis, The British Empire in the Middle East 1945-1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 305. Upon independence in 1951, under the auspices of the United Nations, Libya became a constitutional and a hereditary monarchy under the leadership of King Idris Muhammed Al-Sanusi. However, it was an arrested independence that was conducted and controlled by the West. In fact, Louis described the American and British role in the establishment of Libya as "unblushing venture of military and economic imperialism". The U.S. influence became a significant factor in shaping the new independent state. However, Libya's economic position became enhanced with the oil discovery in 1959. The oil boom initially strengthened U.S.-Libyan relations. Libya however, declared a policy of non-alignment and limited America's influence on its sociopolitical structures, due to Libya's economic and political vulnerability, the Idris government maintained a passive role in global politics and was unable to pursue an independent foreign policy, but rather followed one of accommodation and cooperation with the United States. Libya's strategic regional position was vital, and President Eisenhower was anxious to get Libya firmly grounded in the Western camp. Eisenhower assured Libyan Prime Minister, Ben Halim, that Libya would be in the Middle East what Philippines were to America in the Far East.

(2.) Hans Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978), p. 29.

(3.) Robert Keohane, "Realism, Neorealism and the Study of World Politics," in Robert Keohane (ed.), Neorealism And Its Critics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), p. 11.

(4.) Ibid., p. 11.

(5.) Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1979), pp. 192-194.

(6.) Ibid., pp. 190-197.

(7.) Mary-Jane Deeb, Libya's Foreign Policy in North Africa (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1991), pp. 6-10.

(8.) Ruth First, Libya." The Elusive Revolution (New York: Africana Publication Co., 1975), p. 20.

(9.) Deeb, Libya's Foreign Policy in North Africa, pp. 6-10.

(10.) Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations, pp. 91-99.

(11.) Ronald Bruce St. John, "The Ideology of Muammar al-Gadhdhafi: Theory and Practice," International Journal of the Middle East Studies, Vol. 15 (November 1983), pp. 471-490.

(12.) Ibid., pp. 477-478.

(13.) Saif Al-Islam Qadhafi, "Libyan-American Relations," Middle East Policy, Vol. X (Spring 2003), p.36.

(14.) Bob Abdrabboh, (ed.), Libya in the 1980 's: Challenges and Changes (Washington, D.C: International Economics and Research, Inc., 1985), pp. 10-11.

(15.) Omar El-Fathaly, Monte Palmer, & Richard Chackerian, Political Development and Bureaucracy in Libya (Lexington: Lexington Books, 1977), pp. 11-13.

(16.) Nathan Alexander, "The Foreign Policy of Libya: Inflexibility Amid Change," Orbis, (Winter 1981), p. 840.

(17.) Themba Sono, (ed.), Libya: The Vilified Revolution (Maryland: Progress Press Publications, 1984), p. 7.

(18.) Mahmoud El-Warfally, Imagery and Ideology in U.S. Policy toward Libya, 1969-1982 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1988), pp. 67-111.

(19.) Abdrabboh, Libya in the 1980's: Challenges and Changes, p. 33.

(20.) Edward Schumacher, "The United States and Libya," Foreign Affairs, (Winter 1986-1987), p. 331.

(21.) Qaddafi's attempt at unity did not end with the Arab world. He directed his attention to African unity, particularly Islamic or partly Islamic states. Like some Arab countries, Libya contributed to the development of needy African states. Libya's contribution is distinct and unique from that of other Arab nations, in that, while the efforts of the Arab States were geared to African governments, Libya's contribution is directed at the grassroots, the masses, and the African citizen.

(22.) St. John, The Ideology of Muammar al-Gadhdhafi: Theory and Practice, p. 480.

(23.) Tim Niblock, 'Pariah States' & Sanctions in the Middle East (Boulder, CO: Lyrme Rienner Publishers, 2001), pp. 19-24.

(24.) El-Warfally, Imagery and Ideology in U.S. Policy Toward Libya, p. 67.

(25.) Abdrabboh, Libya in the 1980 's: Challenges and Changes, p. 36.

(26.) Sono, Libya: The Vilified Revolution, pp. 10-12.

(27.) First, Libya: The Elusive Revolution, p. 241.

(28.) Ronald Bruce St. John, "Libya and the United States: Elements of a Performance-Based Roadmap," Middle East Policy, Vol. X (Fall 2003), p. 145.

(29.) Alexander, "The Foreign Policy of Libya: Inflexibility Amid Change," p. 839.

(30.) Ronald Bruce St. John, "New Era in American-Libyan Relations," Middle East Policy, Vol. 1X (September 2002), pp. 85-93.

(31.) Ray Takeyh, "The Rogue Who Came in From the Cold," Foreign Affairs, (May/June 2001), p. 68.

(32.) Aaron Segal, "The United States and Northern Africa," Current History, Vol. 80 (December 1981), p. 403.

(33.) Bernard Gwertzman, "U.S. Backs Away From Asking West For Curb On Libya: Shultz Says Allies Balk," The New York Times, January 9, 1986, A6.

(34.) David Ottaway, "OPEC Turns Down Libya's Request For Retaliation," The Washington Post, December 12, 1982, A1.

(35.) Hussein Solomon & Gerrie Swart, "Libya's Foreign Policy In Flux," African Affairs, Vol. 104/416 (2005), p. 474.

(36.) Ronald Bruce St. John, "Libya's Foreign and Domestic Policies," Current History, (December 1981), p. 428.

(37.) Brian Davis, Qaddafi, Terrorism, and the Origins of the US Attack on Libya (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1990), p. 40.

(38.) Abdrabboh, Libya in the 1980s: Challenges and Changes, p. 38.

(39.) Yahia Zoubir, "Libya in US foreign policy: From Rogue State to Good Fellow," Third Worm Quarterly, Vol. 23 (2002), p. 32. See also, Robert Bob Woodward, "CIA anti-Qaddafi plan backed," Washington Post, November 1985, A19. P. Tyler, "US aborted 1983 trap set for Libyan forces," Washington Post, July 12, 1987, A1.

(40.) Zoubir, "Libya in US Foreign Policy: From Rogue State to Good Fellow," p 32.

(41.) Rob de Wijk, "The Limits of Military Power," in Alexander Lennon (ed.), The Battle for Hearts and Minds: Using Soft Power to Undermine Terrorist Networks (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2003), pp. 18-19.

(42.) Schumacher, The United States and Libya, p. 331.

(43.) Abdrabboh, Libya in the 1980s: Challenges and Changes, p. 41.

(44.) Ibid., p. 32.

(45.) David Blundy and Andrew Lycett, Qaddafi and the Libyan Revolution (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1987), p. 149.

(46.) Carol Winkler, In the Name of Terrorism.. Presidents on Political Violence in the Post-World 11 Era (New York, State University of New York Press, 2006), p. 74.

(47.) Ibid., p. 74.

(48.) Stephen. Zunes and Tom Barry, "Libya: More Balance Needed," Foreign Policy In Focus, International Relations Center, 2001, Retrieved October 1, 2006.

(49.) Blundy and Lycett, Qaddafi and the Libyan Revolution, pp. 150-151.

(50.) Abdrabboh, Libya in the 1980s: Challenges and Changes, p. 35.

(51.) Judith Miller, "Qaddafi to Help Arab 'Terrorists'," The New York Times, January 15, 1986.

(52.) Niblock, 'Pariah States' & Sanctions in the Middle East, p. 30. Following the terrorist attacks on Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985, which killed 20 people, including 5 Americans, the Reagan Administration was determined to punish Libya and claimed to have evidence of Libya's involvement in the airport attack. However, there was no evidence of Libyan involvement.

(53.) Fareed Zakaria, "Let them eat carrots: American has used sanctions has Korea from getting the bomb," Newsweek, October 23, 2006, p. 148.

(54.) Alexander George, "The Role of Force in Diplomacy: A Continuing Dilemma for U.S. Foreign Policy," in H. W. Brands, Darren Pierson and Reynolds Kiefer (eds.), The Use of Force After The Cold War (Texas: Texas University Press, 2000), p. 59.

(55.) Gordon Craig and Alexander George, Force and Statecraft: Diplomatic Problems of Our Time (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 265.

(56.) Brands, Pierson and Kiefer, The Use of Force After The Cold War, p. 62.

(57.) Wijk, "The Limits of Military Power," pp. 10-17.

(58.) Timothy Hoyt, "Military Force" in Audrey Cronin & James Ludes (eds.), Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2004), p. 165.

(59.) Michael Sheehan, "Diplomacy" in Cronin and Ludes (eds.), Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2004), pp. 106-110.

(60.) Wijk, "The Limits of Military Power," p. 26.

(61.) Zunes and Barry, "Libya: More Balance Needed," Foreign Policy In Focus.

(62.) Saif Qadhafi, "Libyan-American Relations," p. 38.

(63.) Takeyh, "The Rogue Who Came in From the Cold," p. 3.

(64.) Solomon and Swart, Libya's Foreign Policy In Flux, pp. 478-479.

(65.) Saif Qadhafi, "Libyan-American Relations," pp. 36-44.

Veronica Nmoma is an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her major areas of research include African politics, foreign policy of African States, African international relations, and African economic development. Her research has been published in several journals, including Journal of Third World Studies, Conflict Quarterly and Journal of Conflict Studies. She is currently completing a book-length manuscript on the Liberian civil war and its catastrophic humanitarian consequences.
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Date:Sep 22, 2009
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