Will Libya, Nigeria Trigger Nation-Building’s Comeback in 2015?

Libyan representative at the Arab League Ashour Abu-Rashed attends an emergency representatives meeting to discuss the conflict in Libya at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 5, 2015 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).
Libyan representative at the Arab League Ashour Abu-Rashed attends an emergency representatives meeting to discuss the conflict in Libya at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 5, 2015 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).
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Is nation-building—a concept that most Western policymakers disowned after Iraq and Afghanistan—about to make a comeback? Two weeks ago, I predicted that 2015 could see the deployment of large-scale international stabilization forces in four trouble spots: Libya, northeastern Nigeria, Syria and Ukraine. The prospects for operations in at least two of these cases, Libya and Nigeria, have risen since then. Libya’s factions are engaged in on-and-off peace talks in Geneva, and United Nations officials have publicly discussed options for a military operation to support a political deal. Meanwhile, West African governments have been talking up a new regional operation to […]

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