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The Obama Administration Destroyed Libya. Could Trump Make It Worse?

September 16, 2019 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

The Western-created disaster in Libya continues to grow worse. Fighting between Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) and the even more misnamed Government of National Accord (GNA) has intensified in and around Tripoli. The LNA boasted on September 11 that its forces had routed troops of the Sarraj militia, a GNA ally, killing about two hundred of them. That total may be exaggerated, but there is no doubt that the situation has become increasingly violent and chaotic in Tripoli and other portions of Libya, with innocent civilians bearing the brunt of the suffering.

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An article in Bloomberg News provides a succinct account of the poisonous fruits of the U.S.-led “humanitarian” military intervention in 2011. “Libya is enduring its worst violence since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of Muammar el-Qaddafi, which ushered in years of instability that allowed Islamist radicals to thrive and turned the country into a hub for migrants destined to Europe. Haftar had launched the war as the United Nations was laying the ground for a political conference to unite the country. It is now more divided than ever.” The country has become the plaything not only of rival domestic factions but major Middle East powers, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Those regimes are waging a ruthless geopolitical competition, providing arms and in some cases even launching airstrikes on behalf of their preferred clients.

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The United States also cannot resist the urge to meddle. Worse, U.S. officials seemingly can’t even decide which faction it wants to back. Washington’s official policy continues to support the GNA, which the United Nations recognizes as the country’s legitimate government—even though its writ extends to little territory beyond the Tripoli metropolitan area. President Donald Trump, however, had an extremely cordial, lengthy telephone conversation in April with Haftar and appeared impressed with Haftar’s professed determination to combat terrorist groups and bring order and unity to Libya. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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