●The opposition led by the National Transitional Council (NTC), based in Benghazi, is a hodge-podge of former regime loyalists (civilian and military), liberal democrats, Islamists, expatriates, Berbers (Imazighen), various tribes and jihadis. They are united mainly in wanting Gaddafi gone. Fragmentation has not been a big issue, but the large concentration of regime supporters in Tripoli will present a bigger challenge to inclusivity. Little is known outside Libya about political, tribal, ethnic and regional fault lines, and Gaddafi-era institutions are so confused that it is difficult to see how they can provide a framework to limit the competition to nonviolent politics. The July murder of former interior minister Gen. Abdul Fattah Younis after he had joined the NTC is a potential harbinger.
●Many Libyans have suffered under the Gaddafi regime, losing family members, property and freedom. Revenge killings have been reported in Benghazi. Gaddafi loyalists may be assumed to have information or articles of value that need to be extracted quickly. This could lead to detention, imprisonment and torture, with the police and intelligence services likely targets, particularly if the Gaddafi loyalists continue to resist even though he has disappeared from the scene.
●Once stability is established, many of the half-million or so Libyan refugees and internally displaced people will return and seek to recover their property. Recovery of real estate can be particularly contentious and undermine public order, especially if the public lacks confidence in the courts.
●Failure to provide at least the current level of electricity and water promptly would undermine public order and make progress on governance, rule of law and the economy far more difficult.
●Mines planted by the Gaddafi regime have been a problem in Benghazi and Misrata, where significant numbers of civilians have required medical assistance. Tripoli and other Gaddafi-controlled areas may also have been mined or booby-trapped. Unexploded ordnance resulting from NATO-led operations will also be a problem.
In post-Gaddafi Libya, the more that can be done by the Libyans themselves, the better. Libyan capacity to organize themselves should not be underestimated, but Tripoli may require international peacekeepers to keep order, at least in the initial phase.
The most likely candidates for leadership roles in any international effort are the United Nations and the European Union, both of which have appropriate experience and good reasons to want a successful transition in Libya. The African Union should be expected to encourage Gaddafi loyalists to adapt to the new regime. The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council should be expected to help mobilize needed international resources.