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.

Every day thousands of people legally cross back and forth between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on their way to jobs, schools, doctor's appointments, shopping centers and the homes of family and friends. This harmonious exchange has taken place for more than 400 years, uniting neighbors through shared social ties, geography, history and, most importantly, an interlinked economy.

Beyond the people and goods, El Paso and Ciudad Juárez also converge in a cross-border flow of ideas, ambition and aspirations that have shaped the region for centuries. This forward-looking spirit is what attracted Microsoft to the region in 2017, when it launched Microsoft TechSpark to create new economic opportunities and help digitally transform established industries with modern software and cloud services. It's also why Microsoft announced on Monday that it is expanding the TechSpark El Paso program to include Ciudad Juárez and making a $1.5 million investment in the binational Bridge Accelerator. Read more about the TechSpark announcement here.

Since Syria's brutal civil war began eight years ago, millions of Syrians have fled their country to escape the bombs and bullets. But hundreds of thousands have been displaced within Syria's borders, where they languish in packed refugee camps. The al-Hol camp in northern Syria is sprawling, and of its nearly 70,000 residents, some 11,000 are family members of foreign ISIS fighters, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The surprise American withdrawal from northern Syria last week paved the way for Turkey and Syria's Bashar al-Assad to move in. Some 160,000 civilians have now fled the border region that Turkey is bombarding, deepening a humanitarian crisis in a stretch of Syria that had been relatively secure since the defeat of ISIS's self-declared caliphate back in March. Here's a look at the camps for displaced people in the area.

Syria is quickly turning into US President Donald Trump's most significant foreign policy blunder to date. It's looking like it might be for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, too.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced a fresh wave of sanctions on Turkey, in a bid to get Erdogan to halt his invasion of Kurdish-controlled territory in Syria. Yes, you may recall, that's the same invasion that the US green-lit last week by withdrawing American troops from the area.

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Mozambique's democracy test Mozambicans voted yesterday in an election that will test a fragile peace accord between the ruling Frelimo party, led by president Filipe Nyusi, and Renamo, a former rebel group-turned-opposition party. The two factions were on opposite sides of a Cold War-tinged civil war that killed an estimated 1 million people between 1977 and 1992. Frelimo, which has ruled Mozambique since independence, has been losing popularity due to a corruption scandal, but is likely to hold onto power at the national level. Renamo, which foreswore violence just two months ago in exchange for electoral reforms that will help the party, will be hoping to make regional gains that allow it to win some key governorships. Disputes over the final vote count and even outright fraud or violence are possible in coming days, particularly if Renamo fails to make its hoped-for gains.

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What's the update at the Syria-Turkey border?

Well, it is increasingly in the hands of Assad and the Russians, who the Kurds have flipped with. The United States withdrawing some troops away from the border, the Turks coming in, but they going to be limited in how much they can do given the fact that ultimately, Assad and Russia has most the firepower and Turkey does not want that fight.

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