Tomorrow, a Congress in the German capital will be held. Its topic will be the situation in Libya and ways this war to be ended. For NATO this is an important event. What is happening in Libya creates challenges which may affect the plans of this Alliance.
To begin with, the instability in Libya due to the civil war has created a void which the radical Islamists- a combination of fighting groups of Al-Qaeda and ISIS- will cover. Although, Haftar’s forces managed before almost two years to defeat the Islamists, however they didn’t eliminate them. There are a lot of groups which wait for the right moment to take action. This fact will create several problems. The Islamic terrorism will be emerged not in some place far way of the territory of the member-states, but at their neighborhood, the Mediterranean Sea. It is very possible that Islamist groups will conquer parts of the Libyan territory and from them they could plan and conduct terrorist attacks in Europe, in USA and in US friendly countries in that region. In addition, if the war does not stop and Islamists continue fighting, there is a chance for the European Muslims who fought in Syria and Iraq to move to Libya. The radicalization will be escalated and this is not positive for the Euro- Atlantic security system.
Another challenge is the presence of third countries, competitors to NATO such as Russia and China. Already, Moscow has a dynamic role in Libyan politics in collaboration with a member-state, Turkey. Also, the Chinese have presence there and they observe carefully the developments. Libya is rich and Beijing has noticed it.
Last but not least, an unstable Libya favors the escalation of trafficking and migration. Numerous migrants mainly from the Sub- Saharan Africa try to arrive in Europe through Libya. As a result, the traffickers give them boats which are not good and several people lose their lives in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a human tragedy and the migrant routes are a problem of security for some member-states as Italy and Greece. Those uncontrolled routes can be used by terrorists so as to infiltrate in Europe without be noticed as well.
The high importance of this Congress
It is obvious that whatever the participants decide will affect one way or another, the policy of NATO. A good result which promotes the cease of the hostilities, the stability, the political collaboration and actions for the arragement of the humanitarian crisis (migration and trafficking) and the Islamic terrorism will favor NATO. Not only can it aid along with other partners (as an example the African Union, the EU) the reorganization of this country, but also the restore of peace will minimize the threat of the Islamists. As a consequence, a base of instability will be vanished- a fact excellent itself.
As well as, it can be added that after the above mentioned restore, NATO’s forces can take action in order to face the humanitarian crisis concerning both Libyans and the migrants. More specifically, the Alliance has the ability to provide naval forces for controlling the migrant routes, arresting the traffickers and saving human lives. What is more, it can exploit the previous experience from Kosovo and Afghanistan and assist the new Libyan authorities at the sectors of economy, security and the military one.
In a conclusion, it is very important this Congress to be ended with a decision, a political solution for the peace in Libya. NATO’s authorities is necessary to observe the discussions. On the contrary, a bad solution or no solution will cause serious problems that NATO will have to deal with.