Local experts say Libya ready to move forward after Gadhafi's death
Fri, 21 Oct 2011 02:58:44 GMT —
A picture of Moammar Gadhafi was placed among the flowers at Syracuse University's Pan Am flight 103 memorial. On the picture, someone wrote "evil has been vanquished." Many believe Gadhafi ordered the bombing of Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland in December of 1988. 35 SU students died in the explosion. On campus, news of Gadhafi's death was seen as a step forward for the Libyan people.
"When we're making strides in capturing terrorists and doing good for international security, and national security of course for us, it's great for everybody," said SU junior Jared Mandel.
"It provides hope for them, it's a good change for them definitely" said freshman Lorenzo Marquez.
Gadhafi was mostly powerless at the end of his life and on the run from his own countrymen. William Banks, Director of Syracuse University's Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism said the U.S. strategy for his removal proved very successful.
"We led this operation, but we did it with our allies in the front," said Banks. "We didn't send troops, we didn't put what we call 'boots on the ground.' We used only air power, we didn't risk any of our own people."
Libya now has its first chance in decades to form an open government and Banks says that while the country has challenges - it also has something to build around.
"They have a fairly sizable middle class, they have a good number of educated people inside Libya, and, of course, there's a wide diaspora of Libyans who will now come home," said Banks
Banks and other analysts say the U.S. strategy in Libya could be used as a model for future international issues.