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Libya

Libya's Monetary Crisis

To many Libyan households, the top security threat plaguing their daily lives isn’t the risk of being caught in the crossfire between contending militias, falling victim to a jihadi group, or being kidnapped for ransom. A more unrelenting consequence of Libya’s dysfunctional politics is its monetary crisis. The principal manifestations—chronic shortage of dinar banknotes, along with a weak valuation of the Libyan currency in the black market—first emerged in 2014. Unlike the ongoing civil war, which also began in 2014, the monetary crisis has consistently intensified through the months.

Libya

European Interference in Libya Could Derail U.N. Efforts

The United Nations is preparing a new diplomatic push to reconcile feuding parties in Libya. The war-torn country will be a major topic at the upcoming U.N. General Assembly this month and Secretary General Antonio Guterres is set to convene a high-level meeting at which he will present a new action plan on Libya. The new plan, though, could be sabotaged from the start. Political maneuvering by several European states focused on narrow national interests has undermined U.N. diplomacy in Libya in recent months. Absent European unity and support, the U.N. effort will likely falter.

Foreign Policy Essay

Who Counts as al-Qaeda: Lessons from Libya

Editor’s Note: Ties to a terrorist group are rightly a stigma. However, given the nebulous nature of many groups, such connections are often easy to overstate. Alex Thurston, my colleague at Georgetown, argues that in Libya the United States has set the bar too high regarding ties to al-Qaeda. Instead, the United States and its allies should try to disaggregate the threat, recognizing that "ties to al-Qaeda" is a description that is often so loose as to be meaningless in the Libyan context. Instead, there are actors the West can work with to bring peace and stability to Libya.

Foreign Policy Essay

Understanding Russia’s New Role in the Middle East

Editor’s Note: Russia's return to prominence on the world stage is forcing security officials in the United States and Europe to rethink their postures. One of Russia's biggest moves is its renewed emphasis on the Middle East in general and its backing of the Assad regime in Syria in particular—a potentially transformative shift for the region. Yuri Zhukov of the University of Michigan explains the reasons for Russia's return to the region and points out the likely limits to Moscow's influence.

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