Making Libya a U.N. Protectorate Would Be Wise but Impossible

Libya is a mess and rapidly getting worse, as the Islamic State moves in. Only one option has even a theoretical chance of turning Libya around: a United Nations protectorate. But there are very few nations with enough surplus military power to commit to what could be a very long-term operation.

more

One Month On, Gauging Saudi Arabia’s New King

One month has passed since King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud ascended to the throne to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He took power at a moment of turbulence and potentially lasting, dramatic change. Understanding how he will steer his country is a matter of great interest around the globe.

more

Libya Needs More Than Unity Government to Halt IS Rise

By Mohamed Eljarh
, , Briefing

Four years after the revolution began to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, Libya today faces a new and very real threat: militants affiliated with the Islamic State. But the group’s advance must be understood in the wider context of Libya’s civil war, and Libyans cannot tackle it alone. more

The Deluge: Algeria’s Pending Succession Crisis

By Azzedine Layachi
, , Report

Algeria today faces important challenges, including social transformations, economic uncertainty and political sclerosis. All of these issues might become exacerbated by a pending leadership succession, the smoothness of which is far from guaranteed, due to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s poor health. more

Strategic Horizons

The U.S. Must Prepare for the Dissolution of Iraq

By Steven Metz
, , Column

Iraq is an artificial creation cobbled together from provinces of the old Ottoman Empire by outsiders. Dissolution into three parts—a Sunni Arab west, a Kurdish north and a Shiite section in the south—is so likely that American strategists should be thinking about how to respond. more

The Realist Prism

Crises in Ukraine, Libya Confront NATO With Risk of Division

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

This past weekend, militants in Libya aligned with the so-called Islamic State brutally executed 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. Even as most of Europe’s attention remains focused on the east and the fighting in Ukraine, the horrific murders highlight the threat the continent faces to the south. more

Strategic Horizons

U.S. Civil-Military Relations’ Neglected Component: Congress

By Steven Metz
, , Column

When Americans think of civil-military relations, what jumps to mind is the interaction of the armed services and the president. But in many ways, the relationship with Congress is more complicated, since it lacks the clear chain of command that defines the military’s dealings with the executive. more