Jeffrey LewisMahley On Libya

A couple of weeks ago, Judy Miller made a passing reference to “a ‘Lessons Learned’ paper for an arms-control newsletter” written by Ambassador Donald Mahley, Senior WMD Representative in Libya.

I was like, what Lessons Learned paper? So was Kerr. Turns out, Mahley penned an article for The Arena, a publication of the now defunct Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute (CBACI, what is that, See-back-ee?).

Anyway, here is the full text of Donald Mahley, “Dismantling Libyan Weapons: Lessons Learned,” Arena 10 (November 2004).

(New! Improved! Many thanks to a loyal reader for providing an original pdf.)


  1. ObiJuan (History)

    ”…Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute (CBACI, what is that, See-back-ee?)…”

    I believe it’s pronounced “Chewbacca.”

  2. Josh Narins (History)

    There was a Council on Foreign Relations article I read, publishedd after 9/11 but before a year had passed, which explained that Libya had been attempting to return to the fold (including efforts to deal with the Lockerbie suits, and showing up as a peacemaker after the first Congo War) since at least 1999.

    I find Mahley’s words on Libyan arms interesting, and he says them confidently, but his perspective on the Libyan decision making process is far too abbreviated, allowing one to believe, as the Bush administration would have it, that Libya came to its decision as a consequence of the US response to 9/11.

  3. Andy (History)

    I don’t think the Bush administration really believes Libya’s change is due to 9/11. Libya made their first overtures to the Clinton administration after all. I think Libya correctly judged that sanctions would not be lifted anytime soon and that the country could no longer afford to drift toward the stone age. It’s a fine example of how comprehensive, enforced sanctions can work.