Another war is in the making in Libya: the questions are ‘how’ and ‘when’? While the prospect of another military showdown is unlikely to deliver Libya from its current security upheaval and political conflict, it is likely to change the very nature of conflict in that rich, but divided, Arab country.
An important pre-requisite to war is to locate an enemy or, if needed, invent one. The so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS), although hardly an important component in the country’s divisive politics, is likely to be that antagonist.
Libya is currently split, politically, between two governments, and, geographically, among many armies, militias, tribes and mercenaries. It is a failed state par excellence, although such a designation does not do justice to the complexity of the Libyan case, together with the root causes of that failure.