Collige et Impera: The United States Reengagement in Libya

Marco Schinella, University of Texas at El Paso


President Biden's "America is back" pledge holds the potential to be put to the test with the ongoing crisis in Libya. The internationalization of the post-Ghaddafi Libyan breakdown, strained by great-power competition (GPC) dynamics, poses nonnegligible threats to the United States (US) national security that extends beyond Libya per se. Reframing the conflict from yet another Middle East and North Africa (MENA) conflict to an urgent multilateral Mediterranean security challenge will help elevate the country's profile on the global stage. This thesis outlines a qualitative, within-case study analysis of the ongoing Libyan crisis from the perspective of US national security interests. It explores the US role in Libya since 2011 by tracing events applying the MIDFIELD concept as an analytical taxonomy. In light of causal inference and path dependency findings, an open normative discussion explores the need for a renovated, meaningful US reengagement, presenting policy-relevant suggestions. The US should beware of aiming too high, meaning avoiding unsustainable overreach in Libya, while being knowingly mindful of the danger of aiming too low, meaning remaining marginally involved in the country given such absence's national security implications

Subject Area

Political science|Modern history

Recommended Citation

Schinella, Marco, "Collige et Impera: The United States Reengagement in Libya" (2021). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28863164.