Libya stands out as an example of a complex, mutual Middle Eastern and North African conflict in which regional and world powers as well as jihadist tribal and sectarian rivalry are exploited. The rivalry feeds a seemingly endless wave of chaos and violence in a part of the world plagued by uncontrolled spaces.
In Libya and the Global Persistent Disruption (Oxford University Press, 2021), Libyan expert Jason Pack demonstrates that this tortured and war-torn, oil-rich North African nation is about much more. It is about the collapse of the international order after the Second World War and the after the Cold War. Further. it’s about the free-for-all emerging in the vacuum as the world struggles for a new equilibrium in which one or more new powers form a new world order with or without the United States, the dominant power for the past seven decades.
Few people are better positioned to discuss Libya. Jason brings not only the lens of a historian and a Middle East analyst to the book, but also a representative of American business interests in the North African country. As a business association manager, he learns that protecting established corporate interests trumps the US-Libya Business Association’s stated goal of expanding U.S. market share by opening the country to more U.S. companies.
Jason’s book, fascinatingly written, contributes to the understanding of the volatility of the Middle East, the struggle to form a new world order and its impact on the Middle East, and the often self-serving protection of vested interests by alleged allied nations, rival bureaucracies within their national governments, and large corporations.