Libya Military Guide
From © Globalsecurity
Since 1969, Qadhafi has determined Libya's foreign policy. His principal foreign policy goals have been Arab unity,
elimination of Israel, advancement of Islam, support for Palestinians, elimination of outside--particularly Western--influence in the Middle East and Africa, and support for a range of "revolutionary" causes.After the 1969 coup, Qadhafi closed American and British bases on Libyan territory and partially nationalized all foreignoil and commercial interests in Libya. He also played a key role in promoting the use of oil embargoes as a politicalweapon for challenging the West, hoping that an oil price rise and embargo in 1973 would persuade the West--especiallythe United States--to end support for Israel. Qadhafi rejected both Soviet communism and Western capitalism andclaimed he was charting a middle course.Libya's relationship with the former Soviet Union involved massive Libyan arms purchases from the Soviet bloc and thepresence of thousands of east bloc advisers. Libya's use--and heavy loss--of Soviet-supplied weaponry in its war withChad was a notable breach of an apparent Soviet-Libyan understanding not to use the weapons for activitiesinconsistent with Soviet objectives. As a result, Soviet-Libyan relations reached a nadir in mid-1987.After the fall of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, Libya concentrated on expanding diplomatic ties with Third Worldcountries and increasing its commercial links with Europe and East Asia. Following the imposition of UN sanctions in1992, these ties significantly diminished. Following a 1998 Arab League meeting in which fellow Arab states decided notto challenge UN sanctions, Qadhafi announced that he was turning his back on pan-Arab ideas, one of the fundamentaltenets of his philosophy.Instead, Libya pursued closer bilateral ties, particularly with North African neighbors Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. It alsohas sought to develop its relations with Sub-Saharan Africa, leading to Libyan involvement in several internal Africandisputes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. Libyaalso has sought to expand its influence in Africa through financial assistance, ranging from aid donations to impoverishedneighbors such as Niger to oil subsidies to Zimbabwe. Qadhafi has proposed a borderless "United States of Africa" totransform the continent into a single nation-state ruled by a single government. This plan has been moderately wellreceived, although more powerful would-be participants such as Nigeria and South Africa are skeptical.There have been no credible reports of Libyan involvement in terrorism since 1994, and Libya has taken significant stepsto mend its international image. In 1999, the Libyan Government surrendered two Libyans suspected of involvement in
the Pan Am 103 bombing, leading to the suspension of UN sanctions. On January 31, 2001, a Scottish court seated inNetherlands found one of the suspects, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, guilty of murder in connection with the bombing, andacquitted the second suspect, Al-Amin Kalifa Fhima. Megrahi has appealed his conviction; the appeal began on January23, 2002.Full lifting of UN sanctions is contingent on Libyan compliance with its remaining UNSCR requirements on Pan Am 103,including acceptance of responsibility for the actions of its officials and payment of appropriate compensation. Libya didpay compensation in 1999 for the death of British policewoman Yvonne Fletcher, a move that preceded the reopening of the British Embassy in Tripoli, and paid damages to the families of the victims in the bombing of UTA Flight 772.On November 13, 2001, a German court found four persons, including a former employee of the Libyan Embassy in EastBerlin, guilty in connection with the 1986 La Belle disco bombing, in which two U.S. servicemen were killed. The courtalso established a connection to the Libyan Government. The German Government has demanded that Libya acceptresponsibility for the La Belle bombing and pay appropriate compensation.