Decision Workshops

Libya - the end game: Moves

This section shows what happened during the workshop (held on the 6th October). Because of the Confrontation Analysis format, we can easily show the progress of negotiations by looking at the changes that took place in the card tables during the workshop.  Understanding these changes shows how the sides negotiated to remove their dilemmas.  During the workshop good progress was made and many of the dilemmas the players started with were eliminated.   This page is a record of what was done.


The changes are circled in red.


To see the cards in play at the start of the workshop click here. 


To understand the meanings of the tables click here.


The format of this section is to put two tables up, the one at the top showing the situation at the start of the workshop, and the one underneath showing how the situation at the end.


Many cards were not changed, and so do not appear on this page.  However, good progress was made on many fronts, as shown here.


Religion and the state

The major concession that the Salafists and the Brotherhood wanted from the NTC was a more explicitly Sharia Law. This dilemma is brought out by the "Persuasion" boxes at the top of the table above.  Originally, the Salafists wanted a version of Sharia similar to that in Saudi.  This was what was feared by the West (hence their score of -4 and their rejection of the concept.  Eventually what happened was that the West consented (in exchange for other concessions discussed later) to a toned down "Moderate" version of Sharia law. Thus the persuasion dilemmas for the Salafists and the Brotherhood were eliminated.


At the time of writing (a month after the workshop) This sequence of events looks like a plausible outcome because.:


1) The draft Libyan Constitution states  "Islam is the Religion of the State and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Shari'a)" in Article 1. Hence you could argue that Libya is planning on becoming a Sharia state. But this draft constitution subsequently defines many liberal Western freedoms (such of freedom of religion, and specific rights for females) which have traditionally been sticking points in conservative interpretations of Shari'a, so the draft constitution seems to be compatible with "Moderate Sharia law"


2) Subsequent to the workshop, the victory of the Ennahda party in Tunisia, again under the "Moderate Sharia" banner was accepted by the West.  

Military Progress


At the time of the workshop Gaddafi was still holding onto the two towns of Bani Walid and Sirte, and had frustrated the attempts of the rebel fighters (under the command of  the Salafists) to take the town. The rebels said they would take the town, but the other parties doubted their capabilty to do so (hence the "How" doubts in the table. These dilemmas were overome by Nato giving air support to the rebels to help them capture Sirte.


In the workshop Bani Walid was left alone (apart from the West supporting with some intell), but in fact in fell a few days before Sirte. There was little fighting in the final assult.

The use of terrorism by the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood.

One of the big problems that the West and the NTC had at the start of the workshop was the threat of coups and of terror campaigns by the Salafists and the Brotherhood.  Despite the fact that both groups had officially renounced terrorism the trust had not yet been built up. Hence the need to eliminate the trust dilemmas.  There was also a strong Co-operation dilemma. The Salafists at times wanted the West and the NTC to believe that they had renounced terrorism, and had to take steps to assure them.  This was done by lengthy discussion around the detailed plans for elections. Eventually, by involving all parties in the negotiations, trust was developed and the threat of terrorism receded.


However it was acknowledged and accepted that there may be some terrorism from rogue elements ouf the of the control of the parties.  It was agreed by all sides that this would not get in the way of political progress.

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Disbanding of the armed forces in Tripoli

During the workshop solutions were put forward to gradually integrate the armed forces of the Salafists and the Brotherhood into the existing army.  This was not strongly opposed by the Salafists and the Brotherhood becasue they did not have a means to pay their troops and were making good progress politically. Re-integrating troops into the army was also a good way of ensuring the leaders were not responsible for the back-pay of the troops. The net result was that the balance of military power shifted in favour of the NTC and thus the poltical danger from the remaining forces disbanding was reduced.

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The great progress that we were able to make at the workshop shows the power of using the decision workshops method of Confrontation Analysis to structure and analyse complex negotiations.  It also showed that with the correct handling, a peaceful win/win outcome was possible in Libya at this time.

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