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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Karim Mezran
A political crisis is brewing in Libya with the imminent resignations of the president of the legislature, dozens of lawmakers and as many as eight Cabinet ministers, following the adoption of a law that bans officials who had served under late dictator Moammar Gadhafi from holding public office.
Security in Benghazi, the eastern Libyan city where four Americans were killed Sept. 11 in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate, has decayed to the point where Westerners are fleeing, assassinations and kidnappings are rife and residents worry that U.S. drone strikes on jihadist targets are imminent.
Mr. Smith's death "clearly strikes a chord here in Washington as it is a reminder of the September 2012 attack," said Karim Mezran, a Middle East specialist at the Atlantic Council in Washington. "Jihadi elements and criminal networks have found safe haven in Libya in the face of a weak central government, and are to blame for a number of targeted assassinations and attacks."