Washington, D.C., March 28, 2011 — While the situation in Libya continues to change rapidly, the most prudent course of action for the United States is to execute a strategy that would minimize the U.S. commitment to Libya and protect the United States from a potentially protracted and resource-intensive conflict, according to a new policy brief released today by Center for a New American Security (CNAS) experts Andrew Exum and Zachary Hosford.
In Forging a Libya Strategy: Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration, authors Exum and Hosford argue that U.S. interests in Libya, which include the protection of civilians and providing momentum to the revolutionary fervor sweeping the region, come at a potentially high cost to the United States. In addition, continued engagement may detract focus and resources away from other critical issues in the region and globally. Exum and Hosford offer four policy recommendations for the United States that limit the U.S. expenditure of blood or treasure:
“Now that UNSCR 1973 – and the interests of the Libyan rebels – have been fulfilled, it is time for the United States to look after its national interests," write authors Exum and Hosford. "Politically, Libya is in the European sphere of responsibility. And strategically, for the United States, Libya is of secondary importance that distracts attention from the greater challenges of tomorrow."
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.