• Soldiers from a force aligned with Libya's new unity government walk along a road during an advance on the eastern and southern outskirts of the Islamic State stronghold of Sirte, June 9, 2016


    All Eyes on Sirte: Beating the Islamic State, but Losing Libya

    At a time when the U.N.-sponsored Government of National Accord could be working to unite Libya's armed groups and promote political stability, it has instead become entwined in the race for Sirte.

    Jun 23, 2016

  • Iraqi security forces hold an ISIS flag that they pulled down at the University of Anbar, in Anbar province, July 26, 2015


    In the Event of the Islamic State's Untimely Demise...

    If they haven't already, the Islamic State's leaders will soon formulate a contingency strategy, a “Plan B” that the West will then be forced to contend with.

    May 11, 2016

  • A Tunisian soldier holds his position during an exercise along the frontier with Libya in Sabkeht Alyun, Tunisia February 6, 2016


    Tunisia's Role in Fight Against Terrorism Discussed at RAND Conference

    The fight against terrorism in Tunisia is a shared priority and responsibility with the U.S. and Europe but will also depend greatly on solving the security issues in neighboring Libya, according to participants at a March 23 conference at RAND.

    Mar 30, 2016

  • Tunisian soldiers participate in an exercise along the frontier with Libya in Sabkeht Alyun, Tunisia, February 6, 2016


    Use Force to Forge Peace in Libya

    Five years after the uprising against Qaddafi and the civil war that followed, Libya is now home to the second-largest and fastest-growing Islamic State group affiliate outside Iraq and Syria. The U.S. and its allies need to step in to help restore Libyan sovereignty.

    Feb 17, 2016

  • Libya Dawn fighters watch Islamic State militant positions near Sirte March 19, 2015


    The Three Challenges of Countering ISIS in Libya

    ISIS's expansion in Libya is a threat to the security of Libyans, to the region, and to Europe. U.S. and European cooperation to counter ISIS is essential and Libya is unlikely to ever be peaceful without outside military support.

    Feb 5, 2016

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with U.S. Marines during his visit to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad March 24, 2013


    Benghazi: Questions Unasked and Opportunities Missed

    Instead of asking whether a video precipitated the attack or whether Ambassador Stevens should have been in Benghazi on that fateful night, the right question to ask is under what conditions the United States should have a diplomatic presence in high-risk areas.

    Oct 22, 2015

  • Tunisian soldiers and police patrol near Algeria's border in Kasserine, Tunisia July 4, 2015 after an Islamist militant attack on a beach hotel that killed 38 foreigners


    Algeria: The Bastion of North Africa

    Algeria could be a key regional partner for the United States and France in security and counterterrorism efforts against Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. It has a clear interest in quelling the threat posed by regional jihadists and it has local knowledge that could be helpful to U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

    Aug 11, 2015

  • A Belgian Air Force F-16 over Ghardabiya Air Base, Libya, April 29, 2011


    Airpower in the Libyan Civil War

    In 2011, a coalition of nations waged a war against Muammar Qaddafi's regime that reversed the tide of Libya's civil war. The intervention's central element was a relatively small air campaign. What lessons did each nation glean from the experience?

    Jul 8, 2015

  • Migrants' boats on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa


    How to Solve the Mediterranean's Migrant Crisis

    Destroying smugglers' vessels could contribute to reducing illegal migration and impact the business model that makes smuggling so profitable. But it won't stop smuggling altogether.

    May 28, 2015

  • Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi observe a guard of honour at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, April 29, 2015


    Seduced by a Strongman?

    It is not true that domestic politics can be quarantined from foreign policy. In fact, Egypt's domestic and foreign policies are becoming more entangled by the day. And that bleed-over should raise concerns.

    Apr 30, 2015

  • Migrants stand on board of Italian Navy ship Chimera before disembarking in the southern harbour of Salerno April 22, 2015


    What Does It Take to Rescue Migrants at Sea?

    EU leaders gathered today for an emergency summit to discuss a concerted response to the humanitarian disaster unfolding in the Mediterranean Sea. As a former officer serving aboard an Italian Navy warship deployed in Operation Mare Nostrum in Nov. 2013, Giacomo Persi Paoli is well aware of the challenges.

    Apr 23, 2015

  • Libyan Police prepare during the start of a security plan to increase security in Tripoli, February 9, 2015


    Somalia on the Mediterranean

    Libya is as vulnerable to further inroads by ISIS now as Syria was a year ago. What can the United States and its allies do to stop the hemorrhaging? Many options have been debated, but none look very promising.

    Feb 19, 2015

  • An explosion following an air strike in central Kobani, Syria, November 9, 2014


    NATO's Campaign in Libya Offers Salient Lessons for the Air War Against ISIL

    The NATO air campaign that helped defeat Qaddafi's regime in Libya has received relatively little mention in public discussion of the ongoing air strikes against ISIS. But the campaign in Libya offers at least five lessons that deserve greater attention today.

    Nov 25, 2014

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a live televised address on his plans for military action against the Islamic State, September 10, 2014


    Will Obama's Light-Footprint Strategy Be Successful Against ISIS?

    President Obama's campaign against ISIS militants marks a notable strategic shift in the conduct of warfare against terrorists and insurgents. It eschews the use of overwhelming force and embraces a light-footprint strategy that relies on precision strikes from U.S. aircraft, clandestine ground units, and local allies.

    Sep 17, 2014

  • Northrop Grumman test pilots with arm-mounted controllers after successfully launching a drone combat aircraft on the USS George H. W. Bush, May 14, 2013


    Will U.S. Air Power Work in Iraq?

    There are many key questions regarding deployment of U.S. air power to Iraq to halt the progress of the Islamic State. How effective would it be? Would it cause a lot of civilian casualties? Is air power alone enough to achieve U.S. objectives?

    Jun 18, 2014

  • News Release

    Libya Needs More International Support

    The international community's limited approach to post-conflict stabilization of Libya has left the nation struggling and on the brink of civil war.

    Mar 17, 2014

  • Libyans protesting against the General National Congress in Benghazi February 28, 2014


    Libya After Qaddafi: Lessons and Implications for the Future

    This report assesses the challenges facing Libya since the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime and evaluates the impact of the limited international role in efforts to overcome them. It also sketches possible future roles for the international community.

    Mar 17, 2014

  • French soldiers take up positions outside Markala, Mali, January 19, 2013


    NATO Needs a Southern Strategy

    If NATO wants to avoid strategic irrelevance, it needs to give increasing attention to the threats from the Middle East and North Africa region. A southern strategy should draw on recent experience, such as NATO's intervention in Libya and the successful operation in Mali.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • An anti-Gaddafi rebel prays and chants along a road during clashes with pro-Qaddafi forces March 2011


    Libya and the Limits of Liberal Intervention

    A forthcoming book from RAND senior political scientist Christopher S. Chivvis recounts the story of how the United States and its European allies went to war against Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, why they won the war, and what the implications will be for NATO, Europe, and Libya.

    Jan 9, 2014

  • toppling_qaddafi_cover

    Commercial Book

    Toppling Qaddafi: Libya and the Limits of Liberal Intervention

    Toppling Qaddafi is a carefully researched, highly readable look at the role of the United States and NATO in Libya's war of liberation and its lessons for future military interventions. This book recounts the story of how the United States and its European allies went to war against Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, why they won the war, and what the implications for NATO, Europe, and Libya will be.

    Nov 25, 2013