When Libya comes up in policy discussions, the conversation quickly moves toward the state of play in Syria, where the regime appears to be upholding a tenuous ceasefire. Reports of attacks against the opposition are ongoing, however, and could quickly unravel the fragile agreement. Meanwhile, in Libya, efforts to consolidate democracy and stabilize the country are under a growing threat.
The Obama administration’s approach to Syria, and its effort to employ coercive multilateral diplomacy, makes sense. Given the perfect storm of threats that underpin that crisis — from direct U.S. national security concerns to escalating regional instability to systematic, brutal attacks on innocent civilians — American engagement is essential. Unfortunately, however, the intractability of the Syrian crisis has pushed a very fragile Libya to the side, long before its time.This article was originally published in The Huffington Post.