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Teaching Notes for Military Intervention and Diplomatic Engagement in Libya: A Collage of Policy, Force And Law, by Anna F. Triponel and Paul R. Williams.

This case study provides an opportunity for students to examine the role that law plays in decisions relating to highly complex operations—how it enables, shapes and constrains political-military options and policy approaches. Five key political-military decision points will be examined relating to the case of Libya. First, should the United States join France and Great Britain in using force to protect the people of Libya? Second, what is the extent of military force that could be used to accomplish this objective? Third, to what extent should Congress be involved in the decision to use force? Fourth, should the United States recognize the National Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya? Finally, should the United States and its allies seek a negotiated settlement if the military campaign failed to adequately protect civilians or to prompt a regime change?

Each section addresses one of these decision points. The applicable legal questions will be considered in the context of underpinning policy-making by key civilian and military decision makers. The case study will provide a brief review of the applicable international law and norms, as well as prior United Nation (UN) practice. Each section of the case study will describe how the international and domestic law enabled, shaped or constrained the political and military decision making process in the case of Libya.