The overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 unleashed a long period of instability in Libya. Although elements of governance and a functional economy remain, Libya’s central institutions are weak, with militias and other non-state actors competing for state spoils, such as oil. This internal crisis has significant security ramifications for Libya and beyond: Besides presenting a potential source of terrorism, Libya’s ungoverned spaces have contributed to the unregulated flows of people from the Middle East and Africa to Europe. However, in recent years, the United States has been largely absent from international–including U.N.-led–efforts to restore governance in Libya.
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