Skip to main content

Why global and regional powers aren't standing up against Hifter's Libya offensive

If major international players could find a common interest in a stable Libya, they might see a simple way out of the seemingly endless wars of post-Gadhafi succession, yet they continue to back opposing factions in Libya.
Libyan National Army (LNA) members, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, pose for a picture as they head out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli, in Benghazi, Libya April 7, 2019. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori - RC14EB305380

The war for Tripoli recently entered its second month, and the main global and regional powers have yet to adopt a coherent or unified approach to the conflict. In fact, their recent actions indicate they are willing to tacitly condone Khalifa Hifter’s offensive by not rallying together to oppose it.

Is this because Hifter’s international backers are more passionate in their support of him than his opponents are in their opposition? That is certainly part of it. The main story appears to be the inertia of his opponents and the sunk cost fallacy of his backers.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.