Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cameron and Libya

According to Parliament’s foreign affairs select committee, which has a majority of Conservative, the result of the French, British and US intervention in Libya was “political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of Isil [Islamic State] in north Africa”.

The report concluded that David Cameron’s intervention in Libya was carried out with no proper intelligence analysis, drifted into an unannounced goal of regime change and shirked its moral responsibility to help reconstruct the country following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. The failures led to the country becoming a failed a state on the verge of all-out civil war. It adds that “David Cameron was ultimately responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy.”

The report finds: “If the primary object of the coalition intervention was the urgent need to protect civilians in Benghazi, then this objective was achieved in March 2011 in less than 24 hours. This meant that a limited intervention to protect civilians drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change by military means.”

The report says: “We have seen no evidence that the UK government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya…It could not verify the actual threat to civilians posed by the Gaddafi regime; it selectively took elements of Muammar Gaddafi’s rhetoric at face value; and it failed to identify the militant Islamist extremist element in the rebellion. UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence.”

The report says it is difficult to disagree with Obama’s assessment that the war was “a shitshow”.

Libya is currently mired in political and economic chaos with competing factions fighting for control of the key oil terminals and no nationwide support for the UN-recognised government based in Tripoli. Tens of thousands of refugees are entering Libya with impunity from the rest of Africa and sailing to Europe on perilous journeys.

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