Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How U.S. Short-Term Thinking Doomed Libya

Dominic Tierney, The Atlantic: How Not to Plan for ‘The Day After’ In Libya

In its anti-ISIS bombing campaign in Libya, the United States seems destined to once again sacrifice long-term stability for short-term gain.

On August 1, the Obama administration announced a series of airstrikes against Islamic State positions in the Libyan city of Sirte, in coordination with a ground assault by Libya’s internationally recognized, Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). The new mission marks a significant escalation: while the United States has carried out targeted air strikes against ISIS leaders and training camps in Libya over the past year, it has now picked a side in the country’s civil war—the GNA.

The GNA’s attempt to dislodge ISIS from Sirte will present the UN-supported unity government with a critical test. The stakes are equally high for ISIS: If it secures a strong foothold in Libya, militants could use it as a springboard for further attacks in Europe, compensating for its territorial losses in Syria and Iraq. Libya’s wider stability is also a pressing issue, because hundreds of thousands of refugees have traveled from Libya to Europe, with thousands drowning along the way.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Dominic Tierney sums it up perfectly ....

..... The White House doesn’t want to think too far ahead in Libya, because a credible plan to stabilize the country could draw the United States into a greater commitment than Obama wants, while raising the dreaded specter of nation-building.

Yup .... after spending years condemning President George Bush and his policy of nation-building .... it would be foolish to then do the same thing what you spent years condemning. So the priority from today's White House is clear .... keep the lid on this mess, and pass it to the next President.

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