Predicting Syria’s Blowback: A Look at Libya’s Impact

Libya's Effect Will Be Felt for Years

The Gadhafi regime has been gone for about eight months now, and the situation in the country is still tumultuous, but the impacts of Libya are still being felt wider across northern Africa.

Mali is split in half, with a coup in the southern half and a successful secessionist war in the northern half giving way to an internal civil war before the new country of Azawad has even been founded. The region is awash in weaponry from the Gadhafi regime, with missiles showing up as far away as Gaza, and groups like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb crowing loudly about the weapons they’ve acquired.

When NATO decided to impose a regime change on Libya, few envisioned the level of impact it would have across the region, and even with the international community scrambling when weapons smuggling reports first broke out, the anti-aircraft missiles across the region are likely to remain a problem for years to come.

The impact of Libya is being looked at more closely as NATO nations continue to push for a military intervention in Syria, and as people try to predict what unforeseen impacts such a war will have not just in Syria, but across the Middle East.

Israel is seeing the regime change as an excuse to launch another bloody invasion of Lebanon, with a general today promising massive attacks against the civilian population in southern Lebanon.

US officials seem to be hoping the regime change will have a positive effect for them region-wide, harming Iran and Russia’s influence and increasing their own. As in the past, this pie-in-the-sky prediction is fueling the willingness to launch such a war, but as with Libya, any number of unforeseen effects could come along with imposing a new regime on Syria, and given the nation’s large chemical weapons stockpile, it could be even more dangerous.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.