Let's Talk About the "Libya Model"

Let's Talk About the "Libya Model"

You have probably heard why North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is wary of the “Libya model” for disarmament — in short, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi gave up his nukes, only to meet a gruesome end in a NATO-backed uprising several years later.


With the country’s various factions meeting in Paris yesterday (pictured above) to take their first, tentative steps towards national elections following a multi-year civil war — and Trump and Kim apparently working to reboot their June 12summit after it was derailed amid a spat over the US administration’s talk about a “Libya model” for North Korea — the consequences of Gaddafi’s removal outside of Libya also merit a closer look.

Here’s Alex with the breakdown:

A leaderless Libya quickly became a haven for jihadists. By 2014, ISIS had taken root. The westward outflow of looted weapons and battle-hardened militants from Libya boosted jihadist groups like Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in West Africa, while exacerbating regional conflicts over religion and land in Mali, Niger, and Nigeria.

In Europe, Libya’s lawlessness and proximity to Italy made it the primary departure point for migrants and refugees risking the perilous Mediterranean crossing. Although a maritime policing deal between Rome and Tripoli has slowed those flows in recent years, the political impact of the refugee crisis on Europe broadly — and on Italy specifically — has already reshaped the continent’s politics.

Despite the apparent progress in Paris, Libya is a reminder that regime change is the easy part. As Pyongyang and Washington work to resurrect their historic meeting, it’s not only Kim Jong-un who should be wary of an approach that leads to a Gaddafi-like denouement.

This time last year, world health experts were speculating about why Africa appeared to have escaped the worst of the global pandemic. Younger populations? Natural immunity created by exposure to past viruses? Something else?

They can stop wondering. Africa is now in the grip of a COVID emergency.

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Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred two Republican members from serving on the Jan. 6 commission. What's going on?

Well, the Jan. 6 commission was designed to be a bipartisan commission, taking input from members from Democrats and Republicans. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had the opportunity to make recommendations but the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, could always veto those recommendations. In this case, she did, saying no to two members, Jim Banks and Jim Jordan, both of whom are strongly aligned with President Trump and who voted against certifying the election results in 2020. The Republicans for the most part see the Jan. 6 commission as an opportunity to score political points against them, and the Democrats say this is going to be a fair, non-biased, and nonpartisan investigation into what happened on Jan. 6, starting with a hearing next week with some of the police officers who were involved in the battle with the protesters inside the Capitol.

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In his New York Times op-ed, David Brooks says the US is facing an identity crisis — protecting liberal and progressive values at home while doing little to stop autocrats elsewhere. But has the US really abandoned its values abroad just because it's withdrawing from Afghanistan? Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst take out the Red Pen to argue that the US can advance democracy without being the world's sheriff.

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When the Tokyo Olympics begin on Friday, Japan watchers will be following more than just the performance of Japan's star athletes, including tennis star Naomi Osaka. They will also be tracking the political fortunes of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is taking a big gamble by staging the event — amid a raging pandemic — in the face of strong and longstanding opposition from the Japanese public. What are the stakes for Suga, particularly with elections on the horizon? Eurasia Group senior analyst Ali Wyne explains.

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YouTube pulls Bolsonaro's rants: Google-owned YouTube pulled down a series of videos on the channel of Brazil's populist President Jair Bolsonaro, accusing him of spreading misinformation about the pandemic. YouTube removed more than a dozen clips for touting quack cures for coronavirus or claiming, in defiance of scientific experts, that masks don't reduce COVID transmissions. Last year, Twitter and Facebook also removed some content from Bolsonaro's feeds for similar reasons. But critics say that YouTube's move is too little too late, because Bolsonaro has been spreading misinformation about COVID since the pandemic began. Many Brazilians hold him personally responsible for the country's abysmal pandemic response, which has led to almost 550,000 deaths, the second worst toll in the world. Will YouTube's move change Bolsonaro's message? His weekly address to the nation, where he converses not only with government ministers but also various conspiracy theorists and loons, is broadcast on YouTube. Surely he doesn't want to risk losing that — or does he?

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Boycotts! Bans! Protests! Drugs! Think you've got gold medal knowledge about politics at the Olympics? Test what you know with this special Tokyo Olympics Quiz. And to stay current on all the latest political stories at the Games and around the world, subscribe here to Signal, our daily newsletter. Now, without further ado, the first question is...

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28: The UK and the EU have again failed to agree on post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. In a 28-page document, the British government had suggested further changes to trade rules that were already negotiated as part of the Brexit settlement, but Brussels was not having any of it.

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