Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Libya last week to encourage Libyan reform.
President Ronald Reagan once called him the “mad dog of the Middle East,” but the 2003 U.S. Iraq invasion prompted strongman Moammar Gaddafi to reconsider his rogue behavior. Intelligence on terrorism also made him more valuable to Washington. Gaddafi soon agreed to abandon his nuclear program and promised compensation for the 1986 Berlin disco and 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 bombings. In exchange, the U.S. eased sanctions.
Libyan reform, however, is still slow. Gaddafi may maintain dangerous ties with dictators and terrorists. Moreover, despite US overtures, Gaddafi calls the U.S., “neither a friend nor an enemy.” Despite recent advances, Washington must continue to tread carefully.