The Libyan conversion in three acts : why Qadhafi gave up his weapons of mass destruction program
Blakely, Keith R.
Lawson, Letitia L.
Russell, James A.
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This thesis analyzes Libya's historic 2003 decision to abandon its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and normalize relations with the West. Despite the political and scholarly claims at the time, this thesis shows that the effectiveness of any specific policy instrument is best evaluated in the dynamic domestic and global geopolitical and economic contexts within which they are exercised. A within case comparison of the 2003 reversal and two other Libyan policy reversals allows us to hold a number of key variables constant, while allowing U.S. coercive instruments to vary. This thesis generally finds that U.S. policy instruments were most effective when they worked to magnify or exacerbate an antecedent condition. Specific lessons learned from the Libyan case could apply to counter proliferation efforts vs. Iran as well as future U.S. policy in Africa.