A History Of U.S.–Libya Relations

in 2011 a nato-led coalition militarily

intervened in Libya helping

anti-government fighters remove longtime

leader Muammar Gaddafi and today Libya

is a bit of a mess and a lot of that has

to do with its relationship with the

United States when Libya first became an

independent country in 1951

self-appointed king Idris the first

welcomed British and American military

bases on Libyan soil in exchange for aid

some years later oil reserves were

discovered and foreign companies moved

in to extract and profit and sure Libya

benefited but at the price of its own

economic independence so in came an army

officer by the name of Muammar Gaddafi

who in 1969 overthrew King Idris his

vision Olivia for the Libyans by the

Libyans Gaddafi was feeling the pan-arab

as' socialist fever that was overtaking

the region in the 1960s he wanted Libya

to be economically independent and the

way to do it

seize the means of production oil

production that is foreign military

bases were shut down and the National

Oil Corporation was established and 1973

turned out to be a pretty busy year

Gaddafi attempted to nationalize oil

demanding that all foreign companies

negotiate new contracts that would

benefit Libya or get out

Gaddafi also use Libya's oil as a

political bargaining chip the

arab-israeli war was raging and Libya

introduced in oil embargo against any

country supporting Israel and it didn't

take long for OPEC countries to follow

suit and basically create an

international panic especially in the

United States the 70s ended with the

u.s. listing Libya as a quote state

sponsor of terrorism after a mob set

fire to a US embassy in Tripoli in the

80s Ronald Reagan's presidency meant a

stronger foreign policy towards an

anti-israel pro-soviet Libya today we

have done what we had to do if necessary

we shall do it again in addition to

sanctions Reagan authorized the bombing

of Tripoli and Benghazi the move was in

retaliation for a 1986 attack on a

German nightclub

that killed and injured dozens of US

servicemen in 1988 Libya was accused of

being behind the bombing of Pan Am

flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland 270

people were killed

Libya refused to cooperate with UN

investigations and that meant everyone's

favorite political tool more sanctions

then in the late 90s and early 2000s

Libya began taking steps towards opening

up a bit more in 2003 UN sanctions were

lifted after Libya accepted

responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing

and agreed to pay two point seven

billion dollars in compensation to the

victims families

shortly after Olivia took even more

steps to shrug off its image as a

dangerous state working with the United

Nations to prove that it wasn't

interested in developing weapons of mass

destruction the United States took

notice and lifted sanctions from Libya

and also try to normalize relations and

part of that normalization oil in

January 2005 Libya allowed US companies

in for oil exploration the first time

since u.s. companies left in 1986 and a

year later probably coincidentally the

u.s. took Libya off of its state

sponsors of terrorism list and while

this is happening Libyans were getting

fed up they were fed up with decades of

Gaddafi's brutal rule and with waiting

for the oil wealth to trickle down so in

2011 along with the rest of the region

Libya erupted in protests thousands came

out into the streets of Benghazi in

February of that year against Gaddafi's

autocratic rule protests were met with

violence and the situation quickly

became a bloody civil war between forces

loyal to Gaddafi and rebel groups and

less than a month later the UN approved

a nato-led military intervention helping

ring in a new era for Libya but that new

era hasn't looked so hot intervening

powers didn't come to Libya with a plan

and while elections did take place in

2012 the country has since only

deteriorated warring militias contested

leadership decreased oil output and Isis

have all led to the country's collapse

and now the US has resumed military

strikes in Libya this time against Isis

so will Libya ever be allowed to stand

on its own