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The state of Libya

When is a nation a nation? The simplest definition of a nation is that it comes from the aggregation of people who are bound by shared characteristics who inhabit a defined territory that they declare to be a nation, tribe, enclave or entity of some sort. To be recognized in the global community of nations, it must have legal construct that are definable by international law.

Libya remains volatile
Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

Practically, a nation state needs certain attributes:

  1. Constitution -- definition of laws and regulations for governance
  2. Boundaries -- legally defined perimeter
  3. Government -- legally defined and identified leadership including legislative body
  4. Citizens -- people who are allegiant and loyal to the constitution, boundaries, and government

In the instance of Libya, what have we here? Follow the description that is based on the CIA The World Factbook. Libya is barely recognizable as a nation state. It is more a collection of tribal entities. Without international cooperation and close supervision, it remains a volatile and dangerous place, where terrorists can easily exploit the situation. It can’t even be described as a nation in waiting.

Places like Libya need free world support, but the free world is lacking in harmonious leadership. How cohesive and harmonious is the European Union, for instance? How cohesive and harmonious is the U.S. government? You see the problem?

The first step to improving world order and addressing volatility of the type we see here and elsewhere in the Middle East is for the free world to get its house in order.

1. Libya constitution -- They don’t have one


“previous 1951, 1977; latest 2011 (interim); note - in mid-July 2013, Libya's legislative body agreed on steps for drafting a new constitution (2013)

Legal system:

Libya's post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt"

CIA The World’s Factbook

Now, without a Constitution, the “government” is a disputed form of leadership where various people and groups are vying for control. There is an interim government.

2. Boundaries --

Would someone just takeover this place?

“Disputes - international:

dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco; various Chadian rebels from the Aozou region reside in southern Libya”

The CIA World Factbook

Today’s news is that various entities are fighting for control of the airport in Tripoli. The interim government is considering asking for international assistance in defending and managing the airport. Now, does that sound like a viable government.

3. Government

“Executive branch:

chief of state: President, General National Congress, Nuri Abu SAHMAYN
head of government: Abdullah al-THANI remains Prime Minister after the 4 May 2014 election is declared unconstitutional; Deputy Prime Ministers Awad Ibrik Ibrahim al-BARASI, Sadiq Abd al-Karim Abd al-Rahman KARIM, Abd-al-Salam Muhammad al-Mahdi al-QADI
cabinet: new cabinet approved by the General National Congress on 31 October 2012

(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: prime minister and General National Congress president elected by the National Congress

election results: NA

Legislative branch:

unicameral General National Congress (200 seats; 120 individual seats elected from 69 constituencies and 80 party list seats elected from 20 constituencies; member term NA)
elections: first General National Congress election held on 7 July 2012 (next to be held NA)

election results: percent of vote for party list seats only - NFA 48.7%, JCP 21.3%, other parties 30%; list and constituent seats - NFA 39, JCP 17, other 24, independents 120

Judicial branch:

highest court(s): NA; note - government in transition”

CIA The World’s Factbook

4. Citizens

What are they doing?

“Amid new fighting, Libyan government considers requesting international troops

By Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
updated 10:35 PM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014

NEW: Government says commanders who fire on civilian buildings will face charges
Rockets reportedly struck the airport and at least two people were killed
Libyan government says it may request international troops to help stop the violence
U.N. removes its staff in Tripoli for first time since revolution

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