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In early 2012, shortly after Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown by an alliance of tribal militias, Libyan Airlines chief executive Khaled Taynaz spoke to Arabian Aerospace about the prospects for the war-weary country and its well-developed civil aviation sector.
Though careful not to downplay the challenges ahead, Taynaz painted an overwhelmingly positive picture for the future. His mood matched the broader sentiment sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring.
Just two years on, however, events on the ground seem anything but upbeat. The revolutions that engulfed the region have largely evolved into new dictatorships or entrenched civil warfare; many of the militias that united against despots are now turning their guns on each other; and the worrisome security climate has struck fear in the hearts of western governments, which are now mobilising their own forces for potential conflict...