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Diplomacy Politics CSS Blog

The Biden Administration’s Impulse to US-EU Cooperation on Libya

Image courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Brigitte Brantley/DVIDS.

The US has maintained a relatively passive approach to Libya under President Donald Trump, whose administration largely left the Libyan dossier to Egypt, several Arab Gulf states, Turkey, Europeans, and Russia. In 2021, however, America’s new leadership will probably try to assert US influence in the war-torn country more actively.[i] President-elect Joe Biden and those in his inner circle have vowed to push back against Moscow in various ways, which means Libya could be a growing point of contention between the incoming US administration and Russia. In any event, the Libyan crisis offers Biden an opportunity to demonstrate to Washington’s traditional Western allies that his administration is determined to reassert US leadership in the world and stand against President Vladimir Putin’s designs for Libya and, by extension, in the Middle East and Africa too. It is unclear, however, whether Biden’s plans for countering Moscow’s hand in Libya will be more rhetorical or strategic, and how far his administration would be ready to escalate US-Russia tensions in relation to Libya.

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Conflict Coronavirus CSS Blog

The Coronavirus in Libya: Halting the Violence to Enable the Fight

Image courtesy of EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid/Flickr. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

Ongoing fighting in Libya and the toll of a decade of almost continual civil war will make it difficult to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Libya. Increased instability as a result of an escalation in fighting not only creates conditions under which transmission of the virus could rapidly accelerate while resources are devoted to dealing with the war-wounded; it also risks Libya once again becoming an important departure point for migrants and refugees as people seek to flee the coronavirus as well as the conflict. European policymakers should grasp the moment to push for a ceasefire, not only to help combat the spread of the virus in Libya but also to pave the way for a return to peace talks.

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Politics Coronavirus CSS Blog

The Coronavirus and Regime-Protestor Dynamics in Algeria

Image courtesy of dzpixel/Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

The corona crisis is a double-edged sword for the Algerian regime. The lockdown and curfew is playing in the regime’s favor by bringing temporary relief from protests. Yet, the long-term consequences of the crisis will test the regime’s ability to manage economic recovery and popular dissent.

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Migration

In Search of Sustainable Approaches to Migration, EU Strives for Partnerships

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This article was originally published by the IPI Global Observatory on 12 October 2018.

Last month, president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker proposed a new program that would aim to bolster economic growth in Africa as part of the European Union’s (EU) efforts to reduce irregular migration. Such a measure stands in contrast to others taken in recent years where, for example, Italy worked to stem the flow of migrants—with EU backing—by engaging local intermediaries, who have allegedly paid armed groups to cease smuggling. Avoiding the extreme flows of migrants as experienced in 2015 remains a top concern irrespective of the measures employed, not least to contain the rising tide of populism rooted in anti-migrant sentiment in Europe.

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Government Security

New Protests in Tunisia, But is the Government Listening?

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This article was originally published by IPI Global Observatory on 26 January 2018.

Seven years into a relatively peaceful political transition that has given Tunisia a reputation for stability, protests have again spread across the country. The successful adoption of an inclusive constitution, the enactment of laws prohibiting violence against women and girls, and the holding of free and fair elections have in themselves not been enough to address underlying structural problems that have persisted since the 2011 transition. While the political and social reality that demonstrators are responding to does require serious attention, there are also reasons to hope that the current juncture is an opportunity to build on Tunisia’s successes.