The NATO Intervention in Libya: Lessons learned from the campaign, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The NATO Intervention in Libya

Lessons learned from the campaign, 1st Edition

Edited by Kjell Engelbrekt, Marcus Mohlin, Charlotte Wagnsson


272 pages

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This book explores ‘lessons learned’ from the military intervention in Libya by examining key aspects of the 2011 NATO campaign.

NATO’s intervention in Libya had unique features, rendering it unlikely to serve as a model for action in other situations. There was an explicit UN Security Council mandate to use military force, a strong European commitment to protect Libyan civilians, Arab League political endorsement and American engagement in the critical, initial phase of the air campaign. Although the seven-month intervention stretched NATO’s ammunition stockpiles and political will almost to their respective breaking points, the definitive overthrow of the Gaddafi regime is universally regarded as a major accomplishment.

With contributions from a range of key thinkers and analysts in the field, the book first explains the law and politics of the intervention, starting out with deliberations in NATO and at the UN Security Council, both noticeably influenced by the concept of a Responsibility to Protect (R2P). It then goes on to examine a wide set of military and auxiliary measures that governments and defence forces undertook in order to increasingly tilt the balance against the Gaddafi regime and to bring about an end to the conflict, as well as to the intervention proper, while striving to keep the number of NATO and civilian casualties to a minimum.

This book will be of interest to students of strategic studies, history and war studies, and IR in general.

Table of Contents

Preface, John Andreas Olsen Introduction, Kjell Engelbrekt and Charlotte Wagnsson Part I: The Law & Politics of Intervention 1. Able but Not Willing: A critical assessment of NATO’s Libya Intervention, Jeffrey H. Michaels 2. Why Libya? Security Council Resolution 1973 and the Politics of Justification, Kjell Engelbrekt 3. A legal view on NATO’s campaign in Libya, Fredrik A. Holst and Martin Fink Part II: The Military Campaign 4. Executing Strategy from the Air, Anders Nygren 5. Naval operations during the 2011 Libya campaign, Christian Wollert 6. Fragments of an Army – three aspects of the Libya collapse, Karl Sörenson and Nima Damidez Part III: Auxiliary Measures and Arrangements 7. Managing Perceptions: Strategic communication and the story of success in Libya, Rikke Bjerg Jensen 8. Cloak and Dagger in Libya: The Thuwar and the Role of Allied Special Forces, Marcus Mohlin 9. Conclusion: Lessons and Consequences of Operation Unified Protector, Robert Egnell

About the Editors

Kjell Engelbrekt is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Swedish National Defence College and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences.

Marcus Mohlin is a Commander in the Swedish Navy. He also holds a Ph.D. in Military Sciences and is currently a Researcher at the Swedish National Defence College.

Charlotte Wagnsson is Professor of Political Science at the Swedish National Defence College; she received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Stockholm University.

About the Series

Contemporary Security Studies

This series focuses on new research across the spectrum of international peace and security, in an era where each year throws up multiple examples of conflicts that present new security challenges in the world around them.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security