Helms School of Government
US, NATO, Libya, 2011, Muamar Gaddafi
Hopman, Martin, "Foundational Failings: A Case Study on US Interventions Overseas" (2022). Senior Honors Theses. 1189.
This thesis will seek to demonstrate how the U.S.'s attempt to export democracy by leading the NATO air campaign to overthrow Muamar el Gadafi in 2011 undermined U.S. foreign policy goals producing regional instability and power vacuums. This work will attempt to summarize the historical fragility of democracies, the cultural basis needed to establish a strong democratic system, the tradition of autocratic government in the Middle East, and how all three of these factors were largely ignored in overall U.S. planning and strategy in its intervention in the Libyan Civil War. Finally, an alternative foreign policy criterion for assessing U.S. regional objectives and strategy in the Middle East will be proposed that satisfies overall U.S. foreign policy in promoting human rights and freedom while avoiding destabilizing actions and ensuring U.S. geopolitical interests are secured