The Consequences of the Libyan War

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Summer has proved to be no holiday from the conflict in the Middle East.

Since February, Libya has been embroiled in unrest as the bloody rebellion against the country's 40-year ruler Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. When the Libyan rebels seemed to be outmatched, the United National Security Council authorized military invention. U.S. and European forces initiated strikes by planes and missiles against the Libyan leader, making NATO and the EU key players in the fight. For months, no side made major progress, but during the summer, rebel forces advanced. Still, Col. Qaddafi refused to leave power.

The conflict hit its breaking point in late August when rebels took the capital city of Tripoli and seized Col. Qaddafi's compound. Currently, Qaddafi is still at-large, wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. In addition, the unrest in another Arab nation is beginning to mirror Libya, as Syrians threaten to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

How has the war and the decision to intervene in Libya changed the role of the overburdened NATO and the European Union? Will Syria experience the same fate as Libya? How will NATO and the EU respond?