Stimson in the News

Stimson Chairman’s Forum cited in Wall Street Journal on Libya’s offensive against Islamist militias

in Program

Rogue Libyan General Says He Has Popular Support for Counterrevolution

A rogue Libyan general’s new offensive against the country’s dominant Islamists opened a deep fault line in the country’s messy political transition and reinvigorated the appetite on both sides to fight out their differences.

Now a showdown is looming between myriad militias, which are lining up for and against former army Gen. Khalifa Hifter and raising fears that this could degenerate into the country’s second civil war in three years.

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U.S. Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones said Wednesday that Gen. Hifter appeared to be targeting extremists rather than carrying out a widespread military campaign against militias. His drive for political change reflected the frustrations of many Libyans, she added.

“Hifter’s focus is on very specific terrorist groups, not necessarily militias,” Amb. Jones said, speaking at the Stimson Center, a think tank in Washington. “Not all militias are terrorist groups, not all militias are Islamist extremists.”

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