Recognition: A Step Toward Turning Over Gadhafi’s Billions to Rebel Faction

US to Treat Rebel Council as 'Legal Government'

The latest in a long line of Western nations to do so, the Obama Administration today announced that it is formally recognizing the East Libyan rebel faction as the “legal government” of Libya.

The recognition in and of itself likely will mean very little, except for establishing formal diplomatic ties with the rebels as a government instead of simply a rebel faction. This is particularly meaningful since the US and its allies are currently bombing the nation.

But the real significance could be a financial one, as billions of dollars in assets frozen by the US and other western nations, including the personal assets of Moammar Gadhafi, could soon be transferred to the self proclaimed leadership council of the rebels.

The funds could help the rebels in fighting the civil war, but any government funds used in the conflict will not be available for post-war reconstruction. Given NATO’s recent proclivity toward attacking Libya’s oil infrastructure, this could be extremely expensive.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.