4 April 2019   Leave a comment

Since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddaffi in Libya in 2011, the country has been run by a number of local strongmen. The two most prominent centers of power have been the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, and a rump government based in the eastern city of Tobruk, led by a Libyan army commander named Khalifa Haftar. Haftar has now ordered his forces to move on the city of Tripoli to take complete control over the country. The states backing Serraj–the United States, Britain, Italy–have called upon Haftar to stop his aggression, but it is unlikely that words alone will prevent the outbreak of violence.   Haftar had lived in the US since 1987 and opposed Gaddaffi while he was in exile and many suspect that he was supported in that effort by the US so the US support for Serraj reflects a change in the US position. Libya is an important supplier of oil to Europe and is also a staging area for many refugees seeking asylum in Europe. The stability of Libya is critical for Europe.

As the Arctic warms, many states are looking north to explore national security options. The principal concern is the protection of new shipping lanes that may open up as the sea ice retreats. Russia has a very large stake in the Arctic since it and Canada have the longest boundaries affected by the opening up of the Arctic. The Russians have been especially ambitious in developing military bases in the region, equipping them with air defense systems and missile launchers. Needless to say, the difficulties in maintaining such bases in such harsh conditions are legion. But the Russians are strongly committed to a sustained military presence.

Russian Arctic Military Bases

Posted April 4, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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