The Making of a Failed State: Lessons from the “Humanitarian” Bombing Campaign in Libya

Libya once stood as the triumphant case study of Western intervention in the Middle East. In the immediate wake of the military victory, war advocates pointed to the ousting of Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi as proof that their war was a success. Intervention opponents were mocked as the New York Times declared that Libya should be seen as a model of success for other Arab revolutions. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron were applauded as benevolent visionaries for intervening on a “purely humanitarian basis” as they…