US Special Forces In Libya To Fight the ISIS Problem They Created

05/18/20161 Comment

isis-in-libyaby James Corbett
May 18, 2016

In 2011 NATO rained bombs on Libya to remove the Gaddafi government from power. Openly backing known terrorists in their push to oust Gaddafi, the NATO powers, led by Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy, ended up supporting, fostering and equipping battle-hardened jihadis that they then sent off as a proxy army to begin the destabilization of Syria. But now that proxy army is coming home to roost, with recent reports claiming as many as 6,500 Islamic State fighters operating in Libya.

So of course the US has responded to this mess in the only way it knows how: sending more troops. Well, to be more accurate, the troops have been there for half a year, but the government is just now getting around to announcing their presence...via an anonymous leak in the Washington Post, that is.

That's right, since late last year a team of US Special Operations commandos have been stationed in Libya in an attempt to "sort through the various factions and identify the potential recipients of American support in the future." In other words, the same US government that knowingly backed the crazy jihadis in the first place is now there to vet which groups to back in its fight against the crazy jihadis.

Summit-LibyaAppalled yet? Well, the worst part isn't the special forces on the ground at the moment. It's not even the obligatory "regional powers" conference going on in Vienna, which is likely to see thousands more troops sent to re-invade the country. Nor is it the fact that the US is now planning to break the UN's own embargo against sending arms to Libya -- as long as the Libyans double-dog swear the arms will only be used for fighting ISIS.

No, the worst part is that there is arguably no "Libya" left to save even if the NATO vultures withdrew their talons and flew back to their cave. Since the murder of Gaddafi the country has plunged into utter chaos. The "government" in Tripoli is a "government" in name only. In truth, it barely governs Tripoli, and the areas in the east are for all intents and purposes a separate country. This fundamental divide is perhaps best exemplified by the absolute insanity taking place at the country's central bank.

vaultYou might remember that one of the very first things the NATO-backed terrorists in Libya did after the fighting broke out was to found their own central bank in Benghazi. You might also know that the battle for control of the "legitimate" central bank and its $100 billion dollars in reserves has been one of the main struggles between the many warring factions in post-Gaddafi Libya, with rebel groups having seized the Benghazi branch early last year.

That struggle has descended into a complete farce, with the central bank's chief not having access to the bank's funds or even its own vault. The bank, headquartered in the east of the country, is not entirely trusted by the Tripoli-based government, and for good reason: the bank has provided funds to some of the very groups that are waging war with the nominal government. So the government in Tripoli has been sending the central bank a stipend of $23.5 million a month for its operating expenses (a fraction of the $257 million the bank claims to need). The central bank's vault contains an estimated $187 million in gold and silver, which the bank says it desperately needs. But there's a catch: there is a five digit access code to enter the vault and the Tripoli government won't share it with the bank's own governor. So the bank has taken matters into its own hands by bringing in a pair of safe crackers to help break into the bank's own vault.

Libya_war_for_oilThis farce is illustrative of the breakdown of Libya as a whole. Any pretense that Libya cohered as a single country was shattered along with the government that was bombed off the face of the earth in 2011. That country may never exist again as anything other than the state-in-name-only that it has become in recent years.

But one thing is for certain: if Libya does survive and its people can once again find a way to live together it won't be due to the efforts of the US Special Forces or the powers-that-shouldn't-be and their Vienna conference or an agreement to end the arms embargo on the country. Outside interference caused the problem; it won't help to fix it.


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  1. phreedomphile says:

    The plan to supply the Libyan government with arms is supported by all five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, Russia, France, UK, and US) along with 15 other nations – – – more global governance world military tip toe? These weapons could very well fall into the wrong hands, fueling the endless global war on terror.

    More ordo ab chao? At the expense of the ravaged Libyans…as well as Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, et al. Reminds one of Condoleezza Rice’s “birth pangs of a new middle east” comment (2006).

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