The Libyan American Alliance extends its gratitude to Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) for offering two Libya-specific amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023, including one that seeks to codify fundamental elements of the Libya Stabilization Act.
On July 14, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 7900, the NDAA for FY2023. The bill includes an important clause on the United States’ defense and diplomatic strategy in Libya, as well as a provision that requires the U.S. government to address foreign interference, the presence of Russia-backed mercenaries, and impose sanctions on those who undermine peace and stability in Libya.
The Libyan American Alliance would also like to thank and congratulate the Libyan-American community and our allies for responding to the call to action and contacting their representatives to make Libya a priority on the legislative agenda.
The Libyan American Alliance calls on the Senate to pass the NDAA with the inclusion of the Libya-specific amendments. The passage of these amendments would strengthen U.S-Libya policy as well as the role of the United States in ensuring a secure, stable, and free Libya.
Mongi Dhaouadi, Executive Director of the Libyan American Alliance, said the following on the House passage of the bill: “These amendments championed by Congressman Deutch would give the Biden Administration very important tools to combat not only the presence of the Russian Wagner group and other foreign militias in Libya, but also the destructive role of certain countries in the region. Those who undermine the stability and the democratic future of Libya must be held accountable.”
The Defense and Diplomatic Strategy for Libya amendment would direct the Secretaries of State and Defense to submit: an explanation of the “ends, ways, and means”, the role of the U.S. military, and the efficacy of the government’s use of existing authorities and available resources in advancing the defense and diplomatic strategy for Libya; a description and assessment of the impact of Libyan and external security actors on Libya’s stability and U.S. interests; a description and assessment of the impact of military activities and foreign actors in Libya; an update on the possibility of reopening the U.S. Embassy in Libya; an identification and assessment of the root causes of migration through Libya into Europe; and a plan for any potential stabilization operations support for Libya. This amendment is an important step in urging the Biden administration and subsequent administrations to clarify annually the U.S. strategy in Libya.
The “Libya Stabilization Act” provision would require the Biden Administration to: identify challenges to Libya’s stability by reporting on the activities of certain foreign governments and actors (including extremist groups, foreign armed groups, military contractors, and mercenaries) in Libya; report on Russian activities and objectives in Libya; list sanctionable activities committed by members of the Libyan National Army; address foreign intervention in Libya by imposing sanctions on those threatening peace, security or stability as well as those responsible for or complicit in gross human rights violations in Libya; and provide several forms of U.S. assistance for Libya. The Libya Stabilization Act represents an important step toward holding malign foreign actors, the Russian government, arms embargo violators, and human rights abusers accountable.