Libya: When a strongman looks weak

Members of the Libyan Special Forces ride past a billboard bearing Haftar's image in Benghazi. Photo: Abdullah Doma/AFP/Getty Images

Khalifa Haftar, the charismatic general-turned-warlord who became a key power broker after the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, is back in his stronghold in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi following a health scare that sparked rumors he was dead. The question is, for how long?

Why it matters: If the 75-year-old general’s grip slips, the resulting power vacuum could give ISIS room to grow, and refugee flows would become harder to manage. That would be a problem, for Italy especially. And if militia groups that have been loyal to Haftar launch a chaotic grab for the region’s crude supply, the price of oil could rise further. That would hit you in your wallet.