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Syria 2.0? US To Begin Arms Transfer To Libya’s Newest Government

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The United States and other world powers have said they are ready to provide weapons to Libya’s new unity government. The West is looking to shore up the government to fight jihadists and prevent a refugee influx.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry , center, , Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni , left, and U.N. Libya envoy Martin Kobler attend the ministerial meeting on Libya in Vienna, Austria, Monday May 16, 2016. (Leonhard Foeger/Pool Photo via AP)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry , center, , Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni , left, and U.N. Libya envoy Martin Kobler attend the ministerial meeting on Libya in Vienna, Austria, Monday May 16, 2016.

Major world powers convening in Vienna on Monday said they were prepared to lift a UN arms embargo on Libya’s new unity government to help it secure control over the chaotic North African oil state.

The West and Libya’s neighbors hope a new UN-backed government will be able to dislodge the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) and prevent an influx of migrants from crossing the sea to Europe.

“The key question is whether Libya remains a place where terrorism, criminal human smuggling and instability continues to expand, or if we are able, together with the government of national unity, to recover stability,” said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, summing up the issues ahead of a meeting of top diplomats from 21 countries.

The foreign ministers said in a communiqué they were “ready to respond to the Libyan government’s requests for training and equipping” of government forces.

The approval, including from all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, all but ensures an exemption from a 2011 UN arms embargo for the new unity government. Any lifting of the arms embargo would not apply to other armed groups in the country.

Risky decision

International powers prodding Libyans to overcome their differences had said they would support a new government. However, the decision to partially lift the embargo is risky.

There are concerns over whether the new unity government will be able to keep weapons out of the hands of extremists and a multitude of militias, as well as the potential for human rights abuses.

The new UN-backed unity government led by Fayez al-Sarraj sailed into the western city of Tripoli at the end of March in an effort to bring stability to Libya five years after NATO-backed rebels ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi and the country descended into chaos.

US, allies want to arm Libyan government

The Government of National Accord (GNA) has only very loose control in a collapsed state filled with competing armed groups. It has secured the support of the administration in Tripoli but not a rival parliament in the eastern city of Tobruk.

The two rival administrations have been fighting each other for more than a year. A power vacuum has enabled IS to carve out an area of control around the central coastal city of Sirte, where Western intelligence agencies estimate the extremist group has more than 5,000 fighters. Europe is concerned IS could use Sirte to launch attacks on the continent.

“The situation in Libya is extremely bad, I’ll be very frank, economically, financially and security-wise,” said Sarraj, the head of the GNA. “It requires the collaboration of all parties.”

Sarraj said he would submit a proposal to world powers for “assistance on training and equipping our troops.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry said while the US supported exempting the new unity government from an arms embargo it was “a delicate balance.”

“But we are all of us here today supportive of the fact that if you have a legitimate government and that legitimate government is fighting terrorism, that legitimate government should not be victimized by [the embargo],” he told reporters.

‘Stabilization of Libya is key’

To prop up the new government, world powers are also prepared to give humanitarian and economic assistance.

“The stabilization of Libya is the key answer to the risks that we have, and to stabilize Libya we need a government,” said Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who co-chaired the meeting.

The West has shot down the idea of sending in combat troops, but France and Britain have special forces advisers in the country. The United States also has special forces in the country collecting intelligence and is ramping up its drone and air power capability in the region, recently carrying out an airstrike against IS.

Libya descended into chaos in 2011 after NATO intervened to aid rebels seeking to topple longtime ruler Gadhafi. The sudden collapse of the state and presence of massive weapons stockpiles added fuel to regional and tribal rivalries in the oil rich country.

The country’s weapons stockpiles have ended up as far away as Syria, where Libyan jihadists flooded in to oust President Bashar al-Assad. Some battle-hardened jihadists have since returned to Libya.

Libya’s massive weapons caches have also ended up in West Africa, where they helped to strengthen insurgent groups al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.

(Source / 17.05.2016)

Written by altahrir

May 17, 2016 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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US Commandos in Misrata and Benghazi to Fight ISIS

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Libya and America

The US administration yesterday joined the European Union in imposing sanctions on the President of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh who is accused of blocking the formation of a UN – backed government of national accord which is led by Fayez Al-Sarraj in the capital Tripoli. Meanwhile, it was confirmed yesterday that American, British and Italian special military forces (commandos) are participating in skirmishes between Misrata brigades loyal to Al-Sarraj’s government and ISIS in western Libya.

American soldiers revealed that special American commando forces have been present in two locations in Misrata and Benghazi in Libya for weeks and are coordinating with Libyan combatant groups hostile to ISIS as part of US military strategy that anticipates an increase in the number of ISIS fighters in Libya as a result of their increasing defeats in Syria and Iraq.

The chief spokesman for the Department of Defense Peter Cook said that he would not comment on the details of any military operations in Libya, but added “We continue to contact different Libyan groups in order to help them establish a secure and stable state system”.

In a statement issued by the US Department of the Treasury, it accused Saleh of disrupting the vote of confidence to recognise the authority of Al-Sarraj’s government and of opposing the political transition process in Libya. It also noted that the European Union recently imposed similar sanctions against Saleh, including travel restrictions and the freezing of assets.

Furthermore, Libyan military sources revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that a series of secret meetings between representatives of US and British forces and local leaders loyal to Al-Sarraj’s government were held at the Maitiqa base in order to coordinate them. The sources asserted that they also had information about the presence of British special forces that are fighting alongside the Misrata brigades against ISIS.

(Source / 14.05.2016)

Written by altahrir

May 14, 2016 at 7:54 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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Italian foreign minister announces Vienna meeting to support Libyan unity government

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Paolo Gentiloni, Regional foreign minister of Italy.

Paolo Gentiloni, Regional foreign minister of Italy. [File photo]

Regional foreign ministers will meet in the Austrian capital of Vienna next week to discuss supporting security and stability in Libya, Italy’s foreign minister said.

“There will be a meeting in Vienna on May 16 to support the government of al-Sarraj and to push for stability in Libya,” Paolo Gentiloni said during a joint press conference on Monday with his Tunisian counterpart.

Gentiloni stressed that the situation in Libya is heading towards stability and that Italy and Tunisia are completely supportive of Fayez al-Sarraj’s unity government and will seek various ways to support it.

He stressed the importance of security cooperation to secure the Tunisian-Libyan border and combat terrorism.

The Tunisian Foreign Minister Khamis Alaghinawa also stressed his country’s support for the political process in Libya, noting that the Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid’s visit to Tripoli last Friday came within this framework.

(Source / 11.05.2016)

Written by altahrir

May 11, 2016 at 10:25 am

Posted in Revolution Libye

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Mohammed Siyala: Taking Control over Libya is a Matter of Time

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Delegate of the Libyan Presidential Council Mohammed al-Taher Siyala

Delegate of the Libyan Presidential Council Mohammed al-Taher Siyala

Tunisia- Libyan Presidential Council’s delegate Mohamed al-Taher Siyala told Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper that the political and military escalation witnessed in some Libyan cities and sides, including Sirte and some other areas east of Libya, will not reduce the Council’s determination to complete the stages of the peaceful settlement and give effect to the national unity’s government, headed by Fayez al-Siraj, across the country.

This escalation will not change the stance against all scenarios that aim at undermining the country’s unity and sovereignty, he affirmed.

Siyala also explained that the war against ISIS and other terrorists in eastern Libya, Sirte, and other cities is the responsibility of the Libyan Central Government, the unityl government, and the Presidential Council; confirming that it is not the responsibility of any of the countervailing forces, whatever their intentions are.

He added that spreading the council’s influence all over the country is just a “matter of time”, noting that Skhirat agreement provides all the citizens with their rights.

Siyala expected those who have been reluctant about him to join the absolute majority of the Libyan national leaders, who have taken part in the bloodshed, political settlement, national reconciliation, and the reconstruction of Libya depending on their local powers.

When asked about the outcomes of the 34th session of Arab Maghreb Union’s Foreign Ministers Council meeting, which was held in Tunisia few days ago, Siyala answered saying, “Maghreb’s foreign ministers agreed on supporting current political consensual track in Libya, led by the Presidential Council, and stressed on the refusal of any foreign military interference in Libya.”

He also mentioned the special support provided by the United Nations, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya’s neighboring countries for the Libyan negotiators to reach their new consensual political agreement.

(Source / 08.05.2016)

Written by altahrir

May 8, 2016 at 7:31 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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REVEALED: Britain and Jordan’s secret war in Libya

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Middle East Eye confirms that British and Jordanian special forces are secretly battling Islamic State fighters in Libya

A picture released by Jordan’s Royal Palace on March 2, 2016 shows Jordan’s King Abdullah II

Britain has launched covert military operations in Libya against Islamic State (IS) militants with the support of Jordan, Middle East Eye can reveal.

Soldiers from the elite Special Air Services (SAS) regiment have been sent to tackle an emerging IS threat in Libya as part of a global war against the group, and Britain has recruited Jordanian special forces to provide local intelligence, according to Jordanian King Abdullah II Ibn Hussein.

It is the first official confirmation that British troops are operating inside Libya against IS.

MEE has obtained a detailed account of a meeting Abdullah held with US congressional leaders in January, when he revealed the previously unreported deployment of British and Jordanian special forces in Libya.

According to the account, sent on the condition of anonymity by a source close to the meeting, Abdullah said that he expected covert military operations in Libya to increase after the meeting, which was held in the week of 11 January. He told his American audience that Jordanian special forces would be embedded with their British counterparts.

“His Majesty [King Abdullah] said he expects a spike in a couple of weeks and Jordanians will be imbedded [sic] with British SAS, as Jordanian slang is similar to Libyan slang,” the account said.

He did not reveal the size or scope of the operations in Libya, where IS has seized control of territory amid a political vacuum that has emerged in the chaos since former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and later killed in a NATO-backed 2011 uprising.

Abdullah met the congressional leaders during a visit to the United States in which he held a slew of high-level discussions with Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter, but not with President Barack Obama, who was forced to say he didn’t snub the king and hadn’t met him because of “scheduling conflicts”.

The king revealed the secret special forces operations in Libya when speaking to a large gathering of senior American politicians including John McCain and Bob Corker, who each attended with their respective armed services and foreign relations committees.

‘Third world war’

In the meeting, Abdullah, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and Royal Court political director Manar Dabbas spoke at length about how the fight against IS was the beginning of a “third world war” stretching from Indonesia to California.

“The problem is bigger than ISIL, this is a third world war, this is Christians, Jews working with Muslims against Khawarej, outlaws,” the king said, using an alternative acronym for IS, and referring to an early schismatic Islamic sect that was known for killing Muslims they declared not part of Islam.

Responding to Abdullah’s statement that his country was in a battle against the outlaws of Islam, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said “they don’t comprehend that view here in Washington”.

Abdullah urged the US and Russia to bury the hatchet and work together to beat IS, the document said.

“The problem is many countries are still living the cold war, but they have to get beyond that and focus on the third world war,” he said.

This prompted Senator John McCain to say American and Russian priorities were different – particularly on their approach to the Syrian civil war. He argued the Russians “don’t want to see a democratic Syria”.

None of the Congress members responded to requests for comment before publication.

Royal Court political director Dabbas referred MEE to the Jordanian Royal Court’s media adviser when asked for comment, adding: “The discussions we had in Washington were off the record.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah (L) speaks with US Senator John McCain

Abdullah lamented a lack of clear strategy from the Americans to tackle IS, saying their objectives were “not clear”. He called for Washington to give him a better understanding of their plans to take on the group in 2016.

The king said he had turned to the British for support due to the absence of a clear US plan, and added that the war against IS required “counter-insurgency warfare” and not “traditional open warfare”.

Abdullah said he thought it most efficient to connect civil servants from allied countries and get them to work together on global military operations, as politicians can be more cautious about the covert deployment of high-value specialised army battalions.

The king has rich military experience and close connections to the British armed forces.

He trained as a special forces officer at Britain’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1980, before briefly serving as a British army officer.

Since becoming king in 1999, Abdullah has sought to develop Jordan’s special forces as a respected elite force and he has positioned Amman as a key regional site for the defence industry through hosting an annual military exhibition called SOFEX, which allows arms companies to show off their latest high-tech equipment.

“If there is a special forces capital of the Middle East, it is Jordan,” said Sean Yom, an assistant professor of political science at Temple University in Philadelphia.

“It’s not quantity. It’s not strategic depth. It’s the quality of Jordanian training, the hardiness of the Jordanian soldier and their reliability for Jordanian policy.

“Abdullah has said time and again that these three factors are what sets the Jordanian military establishment apart from every other Arab military which is why he can be the most reliable partner for the West.”

Demystifying Britain’s role in Libya

Abdullah’s revelation that British and Jordanian troops are covertly fighting IS in Libya is the first official confirmation that Britain is playing a direct combat role in the troubled North African country, and it comes after weeks of intensifying pressure on British Prime Minister David Cameron to clarify his country’s rumoured military role in Libya.

On 17 March, Britain’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee wrote to Cameron asking for a statement on reports that Britain was planning to send 1,000 troops to Libya as part of a 6,000-strong international force.

Cameron had earlier told the House of Commons that “we would of course come to this house and discuss” any planned deployment.

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, who chairs the foreign affairs panel, told MEE that he wasn’t surprised the SAS were operating in Libya.

“It was implied in Tobias Ellwood’s statement to us about RAF [Royal Air Force)] flights going there and not being prepared to say anything more about it,” he said via telephone, referring to Middle East minister Ellwood’s February statement that British jets were flying reconnaissance flights over Libya.

“Obviously there are reports of special forces activity and our enemies in the form of IS are operating in Libya. I think military action against Daesh [IS] is a good thing.”

A spokesperson for Britain’s Ministry of Defence would not clarify the special forces’ role in Libya and told Middle East Eye: “We do not comment on special forces operations.”

Blunt said that the separation between special forces and the rest of the army is “slightly artificial,” and he called for a more complete anti-IS strategy to be formulated with the consultation of MPs.

“I think a more coherent military strategy would be well-advised and that would require an engagement of parliament,” he said.

US and British soldiers chat at the Basmaya base, southeast of Baghdad, on 27 January, 2016

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former top British military official told MEE that it was normal for special forces, which are not considered conventional forces, to be deployed without MPs being given the opportunity to debate the issue in parliament.

He said that he “assumed we [the British SAS] are there in a support and training role rather than a frontline role – but that’s been a bit muddy too,” adding that while special forces are a “very useful tool” they would not “make a material difference” in the fight against IS.

“Special forces will never substitute for a conventional force that occupies and holds ground,” he said.

“A properly orchestrated international force would start to have an effect in terms of building up the proxy [Libyan] force that you’re actually going to use.”

Australian counter-insurgency expert David Kilcullen, who advised US general David Petraeus and helped design the 2007 surge in Iraq, told MEE that special forces can have two positive effects on wider military efforts.

“The first is if special forces are on the ground they can provide close targeting intelligence for air strikes,” he said. “The second is that they can provide a stiffening effect on the local forces they work with, by giving them intelligence and tactical advice.”

Kilcullen pointed to the US-led war in Afghanistan, when 100 CIA officers and 300 US special forces soldiers built up 50,000 Afghan fighters to seize control of the country from the Taliban.

However, he said having such highly trained men on the ground could also have present problems of escalation.

“It puts Westerners in harm’s way. And this makes it harder for their governments to walk away,” he said.

“If someone is kidnapped or killed, this can become a tripwire to a wider unplanned engagement – it leads to raids to rescue a kidnapped soldier with the possibility of further operations.”

Kilcullen said that if there are British special forces in Libya, it was highly likely there would also be a “quick reaction force with search and rescue troops – along with drones with full strike capacity – in the event of special forces being killed or kidnapped.

The former British army official said that special forces could be used to kill senior IS leaders in Libya as part of a plan to stop the group increasing its presence in a North African country that acts as a key route for refugees heading for Europe.

Who will benefit in Libya?

However, Mattia Toaldo, a senior policy fellow at the London-based European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) told MEE that such missions did not guarantee wider success.

“Even if you kill the IS leadership, it’s not clear who will control the ‘liberated’ territory afterwards,” he said.

“This is very likely to be the case in Sirte, with competing forces now claiming to have a plan to defeat IS there but no plan to govern it in a unitary way,” he added, referring to the main Libyan town under IS control.

Libya’s civil war is a complex web of militias and parliaments vying for control of a fractured country that possesses Africa’s largest oil reserves.

The House of Representatives (HoR) is based in the east of the country, and it is backed militarily by the Libyan National Army, which is lead by Khalifa Haftar, a former Gaddafi general who became a rebel leader in 2011.

They have been fighting for control of the country against the Misratan-led alliance of Libya Dawn – a hodgepodge of militias that control the capital Tripoli and protect the General National Congress (GNC), a parliament which the HoR officially replaced after elections in June 2014.


A Member of a brigade loyal to Libya Dawn takes part in a military parade following battles against the Islamic State group

IS has seized on this political vacuum to take over territory, including the central town of Sirte, where Gaddafi was born.

UN-brokered talks have attempted to form a unity government to end the fighting and strike a strong front to stop IS. In 2015, a new administration, the Government of National Accord, was agreed and has since been established but not endorsed officially by Libya’s internationally recognised parliament, the HoR.

Toaldo said the GNA’s rumoured plan to set up in Tripoli could mark the beginning of a new struggle.

“The GNA could try to install in Tripoli,” he said. “But that won’t mean a unity government but rather the beginning of a new phase in the competition between the existing four governments: Serraj [GNA]; Ghwell [GNC]; Thinni-Haftar [HoR]; and Daesh [IS].”

The fallout from NATO’s 2011 intervention

The former British military official told MEE that Libya’s troubles stretch back to Gaddafi’s overthrow, coupled with a lack of post-intervention planning.

“There was very little discussion what would happen next at that time,” he said, adding that the post-conflict plan which “was done on the back of a fag packet”.

“As [retired US general] Colin Powell said: ‘When you break a country you own that country until you put it together again.’

“We didn’t do that. There’s this great cry in the British military: ‘Clout, don’t dribble.’ And we’ve consistently dribbled and hoped to get away with it. And therefore the result is what we see in Libya today.”

In a recent interview with The Atlantic, US President Barack Obama appeared to criticise British Prime Minister Cameron and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy for losing interest in Libya after leading the bombing campaign that resulted in the fall of Gaddafi.

However, British and French interest has certainly increased in Libya in recent months, particularly as IS has risen and Europe’s refugee crisis has deepened, but Cameron has said that his focus is not on military action but instead on seeing the formation of an effective Libyan unity government.

The ECFR’s Toaldo said King Abdullah’s comments in Washington would raise questions over how sending SAS into Libya fits in with the British goal of a unified Libya.

“The surprise is not the Jordanian-British cooperation but the fact that there is now hard evidence of UK involvement on the ground in Libya. It is worth asking how the UK government thinks these operations interact with efforts to strike a unity deal.”

(Source / 26.03.2016)

Written by altahrir

March 26, 2016 at 9:59 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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Nobel winner: Peace in Libya will solve 80% of Tunisia’s problems

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Nobel Peace Prize laureates of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet (L to R): Tunisian Human Rights League President Abdessatar Ben Moussa, Tunisian employers union President Ouided Bouchamaoui, National Order of Tunisian Lawyers President Fadhel Mahfoudh and Tunisian General Labor Union Secretary-General Houcine Abbassi are honored on the stage during the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Telenor Arena outside Oslo, Dec, 11, 2015

The United States must ramp up its support for Tunisia and press for a political settlement in neighboring Libya if the fledgling democracy is to succeed, employers federation president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ouided Bouchamaoui told Al-Monitor.

Bouchamaoui has been sharing that message with US and international officials this week during a whirlwind visit to Washington at the invitation of the World Bank and the International Republican Institute. She said solving the crisis in Libya would solve 80% of Tunisia’s problems by improving security and allowing its economy to take off.

“It’s chaos in Libya. People are crossing borders without any control,” she said. “And Tunisia is suffering because of this.”

The recent terrorist attacks that have decimated the Tunisian tourism sector, she pointed out, have forced the country to further ramp up a defense and security budget that has been growing by leaps and bounds since the start of the Arab Spring. Those investments are crucial, she said, but come at the detriment of domestic social spending at a time when young Tunisians enthralled by the promise of democracy are clamoring for jobs and a shot at a better life.

“One of the main drivers of the [Jasmin] revolution was the imbalance in regional prosperity,” she said, in French. “So people are expecting more investment in the regions. That’s happening, of course, but a big chunk of it is being diverted to the protection of our borders — to deal with a situation we aren’t even responsible for.”

Bouchamaoui, the scion of a powerful family and a successful businesswoman in her own right, took over Tunisia’s Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts in 2011. Two years later the organization joined with labor unionists, human rights defenders and the lawyers guild to create the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, which won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for its efforts to pave the way for a democratic transition while the rest of the Arab Spring countries erupted in flames or reverted back to authoritarianism.

“Recognition is nice,” she said. “But we need concrete support to make this transition a success.”

Bouchamaoui met with Al-Monitor over lunch at a Capitol Hill cafeteria after meeting with Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., who has introduced a resolution urging the Obama administration to start negotiations over a free trade agreement with Tunisia. Bouchamaoui said such an agreement would boost Tunisian exports and improve its global standing, without causing the kinds of impacts to the US economy that are complicating passage of far more ambitious trade deals with the European Union and Pacific nations.

“We want to be a true partner of the United States,” she said, “not a subcontractor.”

She was also scheduled to meet with World Bank and State Department officials, as well as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US government’s development finance institution, and the US Institute of Peace.

The plain-spoken businesswoman likewise urged the United States to offer more, longer-term higher education scholarships for young Tunisians. She pressed for more US investment in her country. And she added her voice to those asking for President Barack Obama — a fellow Nobel Prize winner, she pointed out — to make history by becoming the first sitting US president to visit Tunisia since Dwight Eisenhower during his final year in office.

“We deserve a presidential visit, frankly,” she said. “We’ve gotten visits from heads of state from the world over since the revolution.”

(Source / 04.03.2016)

Written by altahrir

March 4, 2016 at 9:44 pm

Posted in Politics

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Will the international war on IS reach Libya?

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Libyan fighters look at Islamic State militant positions near Sirte, Libya, March 19, 2015

Threatening to use force has become a policy in Libya. What the fighting factions in Libya do not concede to through dialogue will most likely be imposed through the threat of military strikes. US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said that the United States has developed a military plan to confront [the Islamic State] (IS) even though efforts are still focused on a political solution.

Such a statement implies that all options are possible and that opening a new battlefront against terrorism in Libya is just a matter of time — unless a political solution is reached before the warplanes and missiles have the last say.

When the Libyan parties realize that the decision is no longer internal, because the status quo in the country is harming foreign interests, be they regional or international, they might be able to overcome their individual interests to settle the crisis. Placing areas under the control of one faction or another is no longer a source of pressure or method of compromise in the field. This is because the interests of Libya and Western countries are being devoured by another party. Libyans must respond to the request to form a unity government, as this is their last transitional option.

Americans are having a hard time swallowing the bitterness of the assassination of the US ambassador to Libya [Christopher Stevens], although they had previously gloated over the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi. There are certainly members of the US Democratic Party who want to achieve military victory, which would increase their chances in the upcoming presidential elections. The focus on Libya might be an attempt to distract public opinion, given the increasing criticism of US foreign policy. This is due to the image engraved in Americans’ minds of Libya before and after the fall of Gadhafi.

Paradoxically, Libya and Iran had been the center of attention in regard to public opinion before the monstrous [IS] disturbed everyone’s sleep. A military airstrike has become possible as a form of military exercise that could equally have been called by Republican President Ronald Reagan as by Democratic President Barack Obama, because the shadow of terrorism has not disappeared. Most important, the focus is on preventing [IS] from controlling the oil fields in the country.

History is repeating itself. But the question remains: How will the United States and the world be safe from the evils of people and organizations at a time when striking Libya is a message aimed at reducing complications in the normalization of relations with the Iranian regime? The Libyan parties could benefit from this situation by isolating [IS] and stripping it of any protection if the executive authority manages to impose its influence on the military and political levels from the capital, Tripoli, rather than remaining a government-in-exile.

The United States no longer views what is happening in Libya as a conflict between the struggling factions, but based on the idea of rejecting control by radical Islamist currents. In this regard, what US Secretary of State John Kerry said — that the last thing you’d want to see is a false caliphate in Libya — falls in line with what Carter said about Islamist forces’ control over western Libya. This means that Washington is distancing itself from what is being circulated about turning a blind eye to the expansion of radical Islamist groups in Iraq, Syria and Libya. The thing that promotes this orientation is that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did not hide her desire to see the moderate Islamic experiments succeed in managing the peaceful transfer of power in North Africa and elsewhere.

Voices in Western countries, Europe and the United States are growing louder in regard to what is happening in Libya. At every milestone, voices calling for military intervention are raised. Sometimes they are raised on humanitarian grounds to limit illegal immigration and tragedies involving refugees and displaced people, particularly in the Mediterranean basin. This is while at other times they are raised under the slogan of eliminating terrorism and extremist organizations’ sources of funding and limiting the travel of volunteers and potential fighters. Yet the loudest and most convincing voices are those calling for the protection of oil wells and stripping [IS] of the source of funding that has helped the group attract fighters.

The race between a political solution and military strikes remains heated. Yet some strikes just need to be approved, and this does not necessarily have to be within the competences of the UN Security Council.

(Source / 17.02.2016)

Written by altahrir

February 17, 2016 at 9:16 pm

Posted in Politics

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