Can the People Beat the Militias?


The Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, exposed the fragile reality of Libya a year after the fall of the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. The fledgling democratic Libyan state is at the mercy of numerous armed militias, many of which subscribe to extremist ideologies at odds with the government. Across the country, both secular and Islamist militias have taken over buildings, confiscated private and public property and routinely clashed with rival brigades.

Ten days after the attack, though, the citizens...

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