LIBYA: QADHAFI'S PROSPECTS FOR SURVIVAL

Created: 8/5/1985

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCEugust5 LIBYA: Qadhafi's Prospects for Survival

Summary

Opposition to Oadhafi continues to grow. Signsan erosion in Qadhafi's political base of support include renewed plotting by military officers and more widespread grumbling about deteriorating economic conditions* This increased pxalaise comesime when Libyan dissidents are enhancing their capability to conduct operations inside Libya. If- the dissidents have supporters in the military willing to assist, we assess their chances of toppling Qadhafi at better than even.

Qadhaf i's response to these developments has been to align himself more closely with hard]iners* Qadhaf1 shows no inclination to rein in tne extremists, curtail costly foreign adventures, or backtrack on his unpopular economic socialization programs, all of which could broaden his base of support. ramatic improvement in living standards also would allow Oadhafi to regroup his political fortunes, but such an option would require an unexpected turn around in the demand for Libyan oil. In the meantime, his refusal to compromise any aspect of his revolution or to make any effort to improve local economic conditions only enhances the prospect of his ouster, either by dissidents, the military, or by fellow tribesmen in^^preemptive move to protect their own positions.

At the root of domestic discontent is unhappiness with the eteriorating standard of living*.

most Libyans in Tripoli considerb^^bresidentsdistressedfood and

consumer goods and repeated breakdowns in public services, including medical care.

grievances continual exhortations undermine the sense of daily lives* In July, musical instruments in symbols of Western cul university students se linked wasteful expend the currentolding Qadhafi person his loyalists in enfor

are aggravated by Qadhafi's to revolutionary activity, which further security Libyans are seeking in their for example, Qadhafi ordered Western Libya destroyed as partew attack on ture. In addition, dissatisfied Libyan ntemorandum in which they itures for misguided foreign adventures to ifficulties* Many Libyans apparently are ally responsible for excesses committed by cing such dictums.

with Qadhafi is finding expression in

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cities and that graffiti has even appeared on walls near Qadhafi's headquarters in Tripoli* Security crackdowns following the Libyan exile attack on Qadhafi's headauarters previously had stifled such activity.

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Support for the Opposition

Antiregime sentiment probably is facilitating attempts by Libyan exile organizations toetwork of support inside Libya*

The exiles apparently have weatnered the setback they suffered when Sudan withdrew its support for the National Front for the Salvation of Libya {NFSL), the largest and most active Libyan opposition group, following President Nimeiri's removal last April* Cairo and Baghdad have replaced Khartoum as broadcast sites for anti-Qaohafi propaganda.

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Increasing concern over Qadhafi's aggressive regiona it.ies is behind expanding Egyptian,

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involvement with the dissidents.

Cairo is particularly worried about intensivevr efforts toetwork for subversic

Scud surface-to-surface missiles to Iran earlier this year and its announcement last Junestrategicith Tehran have hardened Iraqi resolve to counter Qadhafi.

opposition to Qadhafi, Egypt, Iraq, so far been unable to agreeommon

him.

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ime Countermeasures

Qadhafi almost certainly oerceives an increasi coup attjempt against him.

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he roundups and interrogations ot suspecceo Qissiaentsr ncluding y6 university students last month, has grown* securitycertainly are closely monitoring the activities of military officers.

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Qadhafi is proceeding with plans to strengthen his alread tight personal security cordon*

antiregime activity overseas, Libyan intelligence agents continue to target suspecteo Libyan dissidents abroad -for assassination* Tripoli continues to try to implement plans toumber of dissidents in the Uunited States and West Germany and possibly to bomo kiosks selling anti-Qadhafi literature. Qadhafi reportedly also haseview of the files of all Libyans abroad under government sponsorship. Those whose continued stay is not approved will be ordered home, or presumably will face death.

Prospects

Qadhafi in the past has temporarily compromised some of his radical principles to ease discontent, but his increasing reliance on youthful extremists, in the revolutionary committees now limits his room to maneuver. Indeed, his recent speeches and actions indicate that he remains personally determined to sustain his revolution and to support foreiyn radicals.

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Oadhafi willing to plot against him

replacing, seasoned professionals with young zealots, almost certainly has increased the pool of officers

Libyan dissidents arc wary of close involvement with

or cne moment, the exiles alone probably have the capability to conduct successfully only isolated sabotage operations. Nevertheless, the dissidents probably hope to launcii another attack on Oadhafi in the near future to capitalize on his unpopularity as well as on increased foreign support. if the dissidents have well-positioned supporters in the military billing to assist, we assess their chances of toppling Qadhafi at setter than even.

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