Decision Workshops

The advice

1) At the moment the war is stalemated as neither side is offering the other a solution that they can accept.  The NTC and the International Community are insisting that Gaddafi must leave (and possibly face criminal trial in The Hague) before they will allow a cease fire.  Gaddafi is offering a cease fire in place, when he still controls 60% of the population. Such a cease fire may lead to de facto partition of the country (as it did with Kashmir in 1947)

 

 

 

2) The outright military defeat of Gaddafi may be elusive.  There are towns that will fight for Gaddafi as much as Misratah has fought against him.  Do the rebels or International Community have the stomach and capability to attack and capture a city against stubborn defenders?

 

3) The solution offered by Gaddafi in the workshop, (a cease fire in exchange for evacuation of Tripoli and internal exile) does not offer either side 100% of what they want, but it may be the best deal that will break the stalemate.  However this not only has to be agreed to by the politicians involved but also “sold” to their constituents as the most expedient solution.  Gaddafi may find the evacuation of Tripoli unacceptable because of the loss of face, and the NTC and International Community may also find his “retirement” with a luxurious lifestyle difficult to stomach as Gaddafi will not have been punished. It is a hard sell, but may be worth it to stop the fighting.

 

4) A cease fire would surely be better with Gaddafi out of control of Tripoli, as it would put 90% of the population in the control of the rebels, rather than 40%. With only 10% of the population in his control it may be impractical for him to form a separate state.

 

5) The people of the Arab Spring (the Tripoli Citizens) have a very hard time getting a political voice. This is because most of the power is going to the politicians of the TNC, rather than to them.  This can be seen by the paucity of cards that they have. That is, most of the “things that could be done” are done by the TNC, rather than by the Tripoli Citizens. Without cards a player is technically powerless, as they can do nothing when others flout their ideas. This is despite the fact that their views are closer to the West’s than those of the TNC.

 

6) There is a danger that the NTC will prove unpopular with the people of Tripoli by putting too much emphasis on government from Benghazi (as King Idris did), and allowing too many unpopular ex-Gaddafi people into its ranks.  This may be worse when the NTC actually has to run the economy of the country, dealing with political realities in the aftermath of the war and high expectations of the populace. However the workshop showed that the NTC was willing to become more democratic at the moment, curtailing the power of some of its more embarrassing members.  This means the International Community should put the pressure for change in the internal structure of the NTC now, whilst the NTC is still in a formative stage, rather than wait until the war is over, when they will have less ability to change things, and power will be consolidated,

 

7) A post-Gaddafi government may need to offer more regional autonomy. The people in Fezzan, the Berbers and even the people of Tripoli would like this, as they fear a dictatorship from Benghazi.

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