Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Why Is It Taking So Long To Defeat The Islamic State In Their Libyan Stronghold At Sirte
Washington Post: Why it’s taking so long for the U.S. and its allies to finish off the Islamic State in Libya
A U.S. air campaign against Islamic State militants in Libya, which was supposed to be a brisk illustration of the effectiveness of U.S. support for local forces, has turned into an extended operation with no clear end in sight.
About 100 militants are believed to remain in the coastal city of Sirte, which in 2015 became the most important Islamic State stronghold outside of Iraq and Syria. They are holed up in a small, densely packed residential area. For months, U.S.-backed local militia fighters have struggled against militant defenses and sniper attacks; last week, 14 fighters were killed on one day alone.
The elusiveness of victory in Sirte underscores the challenges that continue to face U.S. efforts to defeat extremists from North Africa to Afghanistan: the limitations of local fighting forces, including inadequate battlefield support and poor morale, and the corrosive effects of local political feuds.
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WNU Editor: President Obama's war strategy has been to use local forces in concert with U.S. special ops when conducting these military operations. Unfortunately .... by providing only minimal force when more firepower could end the battle quickly has resulted in prolonged battles as the case is right now in Sirte.