Analyst Kamran Bokhari gives an overview of the challenges facing Libya after the death of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Editor’s Note:Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.
Ousted Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi was killed Oct. 20 when rebel forces took his hometown of Sirte. Col. Gadhafi's death is largely symbolic because it does not change the ground reality that he had ceased to be the ruler of his country when his forces left Tripoli and the capital was taken over by rebel forces. Therefore the ground realities have not changed with Col. Gadhafi's death because the NTC, the National Transitional Council, and its other rebel allies still need to demonstrate — and now more than ever before — that they can actually effectively run the country. The one thing that held all the rebels together was the presence of Moammar Gadhafi, even though the rebels had taken the capital and the focus was to essentially put down any form of pro-Gadhafi resistance wherever it may be, especially in his hometown, Sirte. And now that has been accomplished, and therefore the next question is whether these rebel forces will continue to be able to hold their unity and not descend into a situation of chaos and civil war. There are two main forces that are centered in the two major cities of the country. The National Transitional Council, which was effectively a Benghazi-based entity and then relocated to the capital once the capital fell to the rebels. But in the capital there is another entity called the Tripoli Military Council that is also distinguishing itself from the NTC. And then there are ethnic differences between Arabs and Berbers, there are ideological differences between Islamists and non-Islamists. So we have a very complex landscape that will somehow need to come together. And therefore the biggest concern right now is how to disarm all the militias that have been active in fighting the Gadhafi regime and turn them into, or integrate them into, a new military force representing the new government, if and when the new republic is formed. Gadhafi's death therefore moves the country into the next phase and which is the most difficult stage of this entire conflict, especially now that the country is awash with hundreds of thousands of fighters armed to the teeth and the goal of securing the country and forming a new state remains elusive.