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Muammar Gaddafi seized power through a bloodless military coup in 1969. Forty two years later, his life and reign ended violently as he was captured and killed when his convoy was attacked by NATO warplanes October 20, 2011. The "Arab Spring" wave, spreading from Tunisia to Egypt and beyond, has claimed the life of a dictator on the battlefield for the first time. To find out what this means, for Libya and its neighbors, we spoke with 3 veteran analysts of the region: former State Department Senior Advisor, Aaron Miller; Wilson Center Middle East Program Director, Haleh Esfandiari; and Ambassador Bill Milam, who served as Chief of Mission in Libya. Aaron David Miller is a Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center. For two decades, he served at the Department of State as an advisor to six secretaries of state, where he helped formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process, most recently as the Senior Advisor for Arab-Israeli Negotiations. He is the author of several books including, "The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace."

Haleh Esfandiari is director of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center. She is a native of Iran where she was a journalist and served as deputy secretary general of the Women's Organization of Iran. She is also the author of, "My Prison, My Home: One Woman's Story of Captivity in Iran." William B. Milam is a Senior Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center. He recently served as temporary Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya from August 2007 to February 2008. Previoulsy he was Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan where he served from August 1998 to July 2001. Ambassador Milam also served as U.S. Chief of Mission in Liberia from November 1995 to August 1998, and as U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh from August 1990 to October 1993.

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Middle East Program

The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Read more