The Role of the United States (U.S.) Interests in the Intervention in Libya 2011

Zyad Muhammad Nuri


The subject of humanitarian intervention has always attracted many researchers and has been a popular and controversial topic, both in theory and in practice. This piece of work examines the intervention in Libya in 2011 and focuses on the distinct influences of the United States U.S. interests on the decision-making process. It assesses the decision to intervene based on the claim of humanitarian norms, on the one hand, and state interest, on the other hand. In the case of Libya, the U.S. and its allies were willing to intervene against the regime, but in other cases, no decisive action was taken. The U.S. response to the crisis in Libya was remarkably quick and decisive, whereas in many other cases of mass atrocity, those crimes have failed to generate sufficient and timely political will to protect civilians at risk. This study based on the neo-realism theory observes the importance and influence of national geo-strategic interests and the influence of domestic politics in comparison to humanitarian assistance.  The conflict in Libya that initiated involvement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the demonization of Colonel Gaddafi as a ruthless tyrant, along with the use of force to overthrow him from power, clearly showed the desires the U.S. of intervention for African resources.

Keywords: Humanitarian Intervention, Libya, R2P, the U.S., State Interest, Double Standards.

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