Iraq and Libya Revisited

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This argument hasn’t come up in awhile, but way back in the day, Iraq war-supporters used to argue that it was the invasion and ouster of Saddam Hussein that convinced Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi to give up his own burgeoning nuclear program. Way back in 2004, I discussed some evidence that this wasn’t the case: the relevant policy towards Libya had been put in motion long, long ago, and it took a lot of old-fashioned diplomacy by this administration—so much so that the people negotiating had to sideline John Bolton from the talks—to get Libya to give up the bomb.

Anyway, Arms and Influence links to a new analysis by Dafna Hochmann which says much the same thing: the invasion of Iraq had at most a marginal effect on Libya’s decision. Robert Farley also has some good comments on the paper.

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