The days and weeks after a victory like this are a golden hour that set in motion either a virtuous cycle of increasing security and economic growth, or a downward spiral into insecurity, factionalism and economic chaos, write Christopher S. Chivvis and Frederic Wehrey.
The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks warrants a thoughtful review of America's progress and future strategy. In this RAND Review cover story, RAND experts offer perspectives on Afghan-led solutions, ways to counter al Qaeda, air passenger security, and compensation for those affected by terrorism.
The SCAF's attempts to curtail dissent and the democratic process have fueled doubts about its true intentions. Will the military fulfill its promise to support democracy? Or will it seek to replace Mubarak's rule with its own or that of a friendly autocrat? write Jeffrey Martini and Julie Taylor.
If Libya is to have a chance of replacing Qaddafi with something better, the United States, its allies, and the rest of the international community will need to pivot very quickly from the rather straightforward requirements of war fighting to taking seriously the complex and demanding tasks of peace building, write James Dobbins and Frederic Wehrey.
Assisting Arab democratic transitions will not eliminate religious extremism. But successful transitions would directly challenge the jihadist brands that promote attacks on America, writes Julie Taylor.
An assessment of likely demographic and economic challenges in the Arab world through 2020—such as population growth rates and continued global oil production—provides a better-informed platform on which to build U.S. defense planning and policy.
The unanswered question is just what will endure in the Arab world: comparatively peaceful demonstrations leading to regime change, or brutal tactics by authoritarian regimes to crush dissent and cling to power, writes John Parachini.
The countries in a possible "second wave" of Arab revolutions have dim prospects for consolidated democracies. Other than tribes, Libya essentially has no civil society, and it has a long-isolated educated class. Yemen has civil society organizations but fewer well-educated individuals, writes Julie Taylor.
The long-term objective of a train-and-equip program for the Libyan revolutionary government would be to create a professional military force in a post-Qaddafi Libya that could support democratic institutions free of extremist elements, writes Angel Rabasa.
What has been happening in North Africa this year, in what seems to be the leading edge of a great wind of change sweeping the Arab world, will require the Europeans (along with the U.S. and others) to be deeply and durably engaged there — economically, politically and in humanitarian terms, writes Robert E. Hunter.
Pushing the European allies, especially Britain and France, to take more responsibility in managing crises would reduce the costs and burdens on the United States while providing an incentive for the Europeans to take defense more seriously, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.
The question, then, is whether stopping the fighting—which could also require forcibly removing Qaddafi—is worth the price of deep military engagement and responsibility for Libya's postwar future, writes Robert E. Hunter.
We have learned over the past couple of decades that it is deceptively easy for the world's only superpower to topple objectionable regimes—but a good deal harder to replace them with something better, writes James Dobbins.