The coalition is characterised by multilateral gunboat-diplomacy in pursuit of (1) sea embargo 2) air embargo 3) degradation of the Libyan armed forces for the benefit of protection of the civilian population.

For the U.S., the war effort is motivated by 1) the economic interests of American workers in access to markets 2) the need to assert authority in the face of a debt crisis 3) To prod the European allies to take a greater share of the burden 4) To assert itself on the world stage as a great power in terms of promotion of democracy (5) To make Iran rush to the bomb, so as to justify U.S. imperial policies and France’s full integration under the NATO Nuclear Planning Group. In this spirit, some of the militias have been aided in Libya by the U.S. in conjunction at the outbreak of hostilities.

Operation Odyssey Dawn & Ocean Shield is perceived as a test-case both of the Berlin-PLUS-arrangements and comes at the heels of the adoption of NATO’s new Strategic Concept Active Engagement, Modern Defence , whose analysis of the security environment policy-makers respect.

EU has come under criticism for not being on top of the game, and for not grasping the long-term implications in terms of overall deterrence value of this splendid little war. This has to be compared to that Libya is a revolution, where optimism may be a high as the ignorance of its leaders, the limited deterrence value of war vis-à-vis China2040 (Terril) and Russia, which sympathises with the plight of the Libyan revolution.

Indeed, Failure of policy could lead to the restoration of weaker
authoritarian regimes with a more nationalist and islamist veneer. This
spectre is now looming on the whole Middle East, and calls for
leadership on both sides of the Mediterranean.

The international community has intervened into this conflict by the assertion of the R2P-doctrine, making Libya a test-case for the application of the Berlin-PLUS-arrangements, in the almost certain knowledge that a combination of economic sanctions and assertion of novel doctrines would severe-ly embarrass the regime. This has encouraged the estranged apparatchiks, individuals and tribesmen to up the ante on the government in terms of demands for an “Interim Constitution”.

An effort to concentrate minds on all sides is now needed.

There is a need to stress that the R2P-doctrine, which are linked to a strengthening of the UNSC’s authority, and the determination of operational principles, are in need of on the one hand evaluation under the Berlin-PLUS-arrangements, and on the other hand are distinct from the wider Mediter-anean diplomacy of the European Union. Indeed, a protracted campaign and NATO RRF on the ground could undermine the prospects for reform in Libya.

In parallel, the international community needs to answer convincingly the why and how of military intervention . This has to be compared – to coin Jughurta – that as long as the warrying parties remain unable to prevail they are prone to prefer a dead match rather than a truce.

A more conservative approach is then warranted.

And so, an effort need to be undertaken to identify a bridging formula between the European Council’s policy guidance on constitutional reform and economic management , and the desire to instill a sense of collective security into the Mediterranean.

This will have to come step-by-step: (1) the establishment of a fact-finding commission, whose remit and composition could be adjoined by the UNSC (2) Second, a cease-fire needs to be stitched together (3) A negotiation framework needs to be constructed (4) the establishment of a unity government could be contemplated.

On this basis, an exit strategy could be deliberated on by decision-makers.

From this then flow decisions concerning the need for neurological strikes in consideration of 1) Ground forces, 2) Special detection materiel/airplanes and 3) More airplanes for the policing of the no-fly-zone.

In parallel, it could be considered to organise roundtable conversations, associated with the Libya Contact Group, in the following areas to act as a spur for transition management and the reconciliation process in Libya. This should strengthen the hand of the African Union as well as serve as a sounding board for the use of post-conflict reconstruction under a balanced policy.
In the constitutional realm, Libya continue to display traits – to coin Aristoteles – of an aristocracy with oligarchic and democratic deviations prone to decay into an oligarchy. And so, Libya needs durable institutions and checks-and-balances must be established to address the repeated failure of Libya to ensure the integration of the country, the formation of un-checked oligarchies, succession crisis and the multiplication of functions, unaccountable to anyone. In this spirit, the course of re-form must be set. For this purpose, a senate, an ombudsmand, a national comptroller, separation-of-powers, independent judiciary, administrative and municipal reform, as well as a consultative coun-cil of tribal affairs could be contemplated as additional measures to the ideas, currently being deliberated in Libya on constitutional reform. In particular the proposal for the development of a party system is significant. A new constitution could be drafted within six-eight weeks. TNC on its way, here.

In the economic realm, rebuilding the economy is an important element so as to ensure an even and balanced development of the social fabric of the country. Few would be surprised, if the post-conflict reconstruction led to a greater amount of oil money flowing back to Libya.

In the humanitarian realm, EU must more ensure principles of neutrality, coordination, legitimacy and accountability are respected. The EU COM could then set-up an Institutional Building-pro-gramme in discreet cooperation with the Libyan administration, once the deliberative negotiation framework has reached traction, a projet, and/or consensus.

The implicit assumption is that there exist no such thing as an “Interim Constitution”, that time and weather conditions work in favour of a cease-fire, even as the objectives of the multilateral – military – coalition is joined.

Perhaps then, the Mediterranean should be a NATO-lake all together, so that EU may concentrate minds on building a European capitalism and building a common European defence. NORDCAPS, and the progress registered in the building of air carriers at French building yards, being a case in point.

A division of labour, organised around NATO-led global deterrence, EU-led crisis manage-ment in Europe and adjacent areas and NATO article five-dispositions is thus discernable.

A European Admiralty could then be placed in Bruxelles. Copenhagen. Or Torquay.


EUMIlstt: Needs to integrate into its exercises the full range of R2P-operations, and may want to size on the Libyan campaign as a test-case for drawing-up an integrated civil-military plan (Ruí Gomez). A review of the functioning of the Berlin-Plus arrangements need to be conducted.

OIC. It could be agreed to set-up a very large training module for the rank-and-file in Cairo out of OIC on good governance, rule-of-law and human rights. This could be supported by EU in order to forge a viable indigenous capacity.

Transatlantic partnership: Could it be agreed, in principle, upon consultation with the Euro-pean Parliament on the countries to be chosen, included the future State of Palestine, to establish a joint list of vulnerable states (Somalia, Congo, Tajikistan, Burma, Palestine etc), which could then be subject to nation-building programmes ?

MEDUnion: May want to establish a programme for friendship cities and exchange between schools, allowing a sound exchange programmes as well as knowledge of each other’s philosophical canons ( a la Meddeb) at high school level. European business schools may set-up branches in the region. Co-production among MED- academics must be further encouraged.

African Union. EU should notably provide assistance and advice on how to further AU as a mechanism for transposition of the AU-charter and conventions in its Member States. The ‘Green Wall-project’ needs to be furthered pragmatically, drawing on mediterranean, sub-regional and local expertise.