Due to several negative headlines made by Libya during the last few weeks it seems that the country is on the brink. The four major threats to a positive development are the inability of the government to impose its will and retain the monopoly on violence, the rising influence of radical Islamists, the legacy of the chaotic administration of the state under the Gaddafi regime and the numerous century old tribal conflicts in several parts of the country.
As these threats and problems are linked with each other a comprehensive approach is necessary to deal with them as a whole. The mid-term forecast does not look too bright. But proper initiatives could change the path that seems currently predetermined.
Not a single solution, but several are necessary including state building, a build-up of the security forces, a steady growth of the economy, an improvement of the infrastructure and reconciliation. As it is not possible to achieve progress at the same time all over the country, a step-by-step approach must be conducted. Libya is on the brink. On one side time is running out, on the other side patience is necessary.
Colonel Wolfgang Pusztai is a Policy and Security analyst. He was the Austrian Defense Attaché to Libya from 2008 to 2012.
* The opinions expressed herein are strictly personal and do not reflect the position of the Austrian MoD.