UNITED STATES’ MILITARY AND STRATEGIC INVOLVEMENT IN THE 2011 LIBYAN CRISIS
LESSONS FOR DICTATORS AND POTENTIAL INSURGENTS
Questions still trail the 2011 Libyan Crisis seeking to unveil the underlying motives of the super powers who masterminded the ouster of Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s regime under the auspices of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The study investigated the US military and strategic involvement in that crisis to ascertain US motive for participating. It sorted for vital lessons that serve as warning, particularly, to dictators and potential insurgents in Africa. The paper argued that beyond the need to save Libyans from Gaddafi’s dictatorship, the US demonstrated a violent pursuit of her national interest under the umbrella of NATO. The US aimed at removing Gaddafi and transiting Libya to liberal democracy in line with what the US calls Middle East Transition (MET). Realist theory of power has high explanatory potency in the forging. The study is a qualitative research that relied on documented evidence as a source of data. Findings showed that escalated conflict between forces loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi and the National Transitional Council (NTC) led rebelforces createdopportunity for NATO’s intervention. As a leading member of NATO, the US brought its military and strategic capacities to bear on the intervention. The US tried to achieve her foreign policy objectives that sought to remove Gaddafi and democratize Libya. The method by which Muammar Gaddafi was ousted was a lesson to understanding the workings of the present day world politics where the instrumentality of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has become a tool for forceful change of government.