Libya and the Global Enduring Disorder
Presents the Libya conflict as an ideal microcosm for examining the collective failures typical of our new geopolitics.
We no longer inhabit a world governed by international coordination, a unified NATO bloc, or an American hegemon. Traditionally, the decline of one empire leads to a restoration in the balance of power, via a struggle among rival systems of order. Yet this dynamic is surprisingly absent today; instead, the superpowers have all, at times, sought to promote what Jason Pack terms the ‘Enduring Disorder’.
He contends that Libya’s ongoing conflict–more so than the civil wars in Yemen, Syria, Venezuela or Ukraine–constitutes the ideal microcosm in which to identify the salient features of this new era of geopolitics. The country’s post-Qadhafi trajectory has been moulded by the stark absence of coherent international diplomacy; while Libya’s incremental implosion has precipitated cross-border contagion, further corroding global institutions and international partnership.
Pack draws on over two decades of research in and on Libya and Syria to highlight the Kafkaesque aspects of today’s global affairs. He shows how even the threats posed by the Arab Spring, and the Benghazi assassination of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, couldn’t occasion a unified Western response. Rather, they have further undercut global collaboration, demonstrating the self-reinforcing nature of the progressively collapsing world order.
Jason Pack is a non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute, and the founder of Libya-Analysis LLC. His articles have appeared in The New York Times; The Wall Street Journal; The Spectator; the Financial Times and Foreign Affairs. In 2018 he won the World Championship of Doubles Backgammon.